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What Does Medicaid Expansion Mean for Cancer Screening and Prevention? Results from a Randomized Trial on the Impacts of Acquiring Medicaid Coverage

December 2015

Bill J. Wright, Alison K. Conlin, Heidi L. Allen, Jennifer Tsui, Matthew J. Carlson, Hsin Fang Li


In 2008, before the Affordable Care Act was implemented nationwide, Oregon implemented a program in which open slots of their Oregon Health Plan Standard (OHP Standard) were randomly distributed (like a lottery). The study randomly selected a treatment group (those who had been selected by the lottery to receive Medicaid coverage) and a control (those not selected), to see how cancer screening rates compared after 12 months. Those who had received Medicaid coverage had received far more cancer screenings than those who didn’t. However, it did not encourage health measures such as obesity prevention, preventative care, etc.

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Policy Implications

The expansion of Medicaid programs could lead to lower cancer rates and mortality rates, by improving the rate of cancer screenings.

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