Contact: Margaret Allen
Southern Methodist University
Caption: In the fierce national debate over a new federal law that requires all Americans to have health insurance, it's widely assumed that private health insurance can do a better job than the public insurance funded by the US government. But a first-of-its-kind analysis of newly available government data found just the opposite when it comes to infants covered by insurance. Among the insured, infants in low-income families are better off under the nation's government-funded public health insurance than infants covered by private insurance, says economist and study author Manan Roy, Southern Methodist University, Dallas. The finding emerged from an analysis that was weighted for the fact that less healthy infants are drawn into public health insurance from birth by its low cost.
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