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Blog Examines Implications Of ‘Oregon Experiment’ For Global Health Policy

In two separate posts, the Center for Global Development’s (CGD) “Global Health Policy” blog discusses the results from the “Oregon Experiment,” a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine that finds “no significant effect of Medicaid coverage on the prevalence or diagnosis of hypertension or high cholesterol levels or on the use of medication for these conditions,” according to the article’s abstract (5/2). “Limitations of the study aside, the Oregon Experiment is a good example of the importance of rigorously testing all U.S. health programs, rather than just assuming ‘more care = better health,'” Research Fellow Victoria Fan and Research Assistant Rachel Silverman write in the first post, adding, “The Innovation Center at the United States Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, created under the umbrella of the Affordable Care Act, represents a new and encouraging approach to address this problem, an approach that we think has important lessons for global health” (5/6). In the second post, Fan and Amanda Glassman, CDG’s director of global health policy and a senior fellow, ask “[W]hat are the lessons for global health?” and write, “In the drive to universal health coverage, as championed by the U.N. and others, we should remember the evidence base is still developing, and that key interventions delivered with quality as well as people’s own behavior and incentives are important factors that will drive health status improvements in the short-term” (5/6).

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