The Affordable Care Act and the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Regression Discontinuity Analysis

30 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2020

See all articles by Rajashri Chakrabarti

Rajashri Chakrabarti

Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Lindsay Meyerson

affiliation not provided to SSRN

William Nober

Columbia University - Columbia Business School, Students

Maxim Pinkovskiy

Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Date Written: November 2020

Abstract

Did Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act affect the course of the COVID-19 pandemic? We answer this question using a regression discontinuity design for counties near the borders of states that expanded Medicaid with states that did not. Relevant covariates change continuously across the Medicaid expansion frontier. We find that 1) health insurance changes discontinuously at the frontier, 2) COVID-19 cases do not change discontinuously at the frontier but the precision of this estimate is low, 3) COVID-19 deaths do not change discontinuously at the frontier and the confidence intervals exclude large declines in deaths in Medicaid expansion areas, 4) smart thermometer readings of fever rates from Kinsa, Inc. do not change discontinuously at the frontier, and 5) COVID-19-related doctor visits discontinuously increase in Medicaid expansion areas.

Keywords: Affordable Care Act, COVID-19, Medicaid, regression discontinuity

JEL Classification: C21, I13, I18

Suggested Citation

Chakrabarti, Rajashri and Meyerson, Lindsay and Nober, William and Pinkovskiy, Maxim, The Affordable Care Act and the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Regression Discontinuity Analysis (November 2020). FRB of New York Staff Report No. 948, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3733129 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3733129

Rajashri Chakrabarti

Federal Reserve Bank of New York ( email )

33 Liberty Street
New York, NY 10045
United States

HOME PAGE: http://nyfedeconomists.org/chakrabarti

Lindsay Meyerson

affiliation not provided to SSRN

William Nober

Columbia University - Columbia Business School, Students ( email )

New York, NY
United States

Maxim Pinkovskiy (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Bank of New York ( email )

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