When Working-Age People Consume Less Medical Care, Medicare Beneficiaries Consume More — but They Get Little, If Any Benefit
There has been a lot of discussion recently about how people who lost health insurance as a result of the post-2008 recession reduced their use of medical services. But when working-age people consume fewer medical services, Medicare patients take up the slack:
Reductions in the demand for medical services among adults below age 65 are not associated with reductions in the total quantity of physician services supplied. The increased Medicare utilization that accompanies lower demand among those under 65 has few, if any, benefits for Medicare patients.