The National Bureau of Economic Research released a working paper on the long-term effects of Medicaid expansion in the 1980s and 1990s on income, college attendance, mortality rate and tax receipts.
The study comes as a number of states — including North Carolina — are reconsidering expanding their Medicaid programs.
RETURNS ON INVESTMENT
The working paper said Medicaid helps pay for itself in the long run:
- For every year until age 28 that people qualified for Medicaid, their individual tax payments increased by $247
- Both genders relied less on the Earned Income Tax Credit — $109 less for women, $41 less for men.
- The study projects that up to 56 percent of Medicaid investments will be paid back.
Its authors used tax records to track children born between 1981 and 1984, but instead of evaluating the early effects of Medicaid coverage for children, the study observed the effects in early adulthood.
Amanda Kowalski, co-author of the report and a Yale University economics professor, said they found that for every dollar the government spent on providing Medicaid to children, it recovered 14 cents by the time those children reached age 28.