Karen Clay, Joshua Lewis, Edson Severnini, Xiao Wang: The Value of Health Insurance during a Crisis: Effects of Medicaid Implementation on Pandemic Influenza Mortality, in: IZA Discussion Paper Series No. 13200, April 2020.
In this article, the authors examine the impact of improved access to public health insurance on infant mortality during pandemics.
They analyze the differences in eligibility for the Medicaid program in different states of the United States and relate them to two influenza pandemics. The 1957/58 “Asian flu” under investigation occurred shortly before the program was introduced and the “Hong Kong flu” occurred after its introduction. According to the authors, the introduction of the programme and thus better access to health insurance has significantly reduced infant mortality from “Hong Kong flu”. They see evidence that the expansion of health insurance coverage curbed the transmission of disease in the population.