Poverty, Health, and Healthcare

Darrell J. Gaskin and Eric T. Roberts

in The Oxford Handbook of the Economics of Poverty

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780195393781
Published online December 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Poverty, Health, and Healthcare

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  • Public Economics


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This article discusses the relationship between poverty status and healthcare. The article is organized as follows. Section 2 reviews the empirical literature on the relationship between poverty and health. Section 3 discusses and gives an overview of Medicaid, the nation's public health insurance program for poor and disabled individuals. It then discusses five major issues that health economists have studied about the Medicaid program, including its impact on health outcomes for the poor and the extent to which it crowds out private insurance. Section 4 offers a conceptual framework to explain the relationships between poverty and health, and poverty and healthcare. Section 5 presents analyses of the association between poverty status and health and healthcare utilization by using the 2009 National Health Interview Survey and 2006 Medical Expenditure Survey. Section 6 concludes with a discussion of how public policy can address the problems created by the poverty-health and poverty-healthcare relationships.

Keywords: poverty status; healthcare; Medicaid; public health insurance; health policy; social policy

Article.  15913 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; Health, Education, and Welfare ; Public Economics

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