Benjamin D. Ukert
Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics
University of Pennsylvania
308 Colonial Penn Center
3641 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6218
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|April 2018||Effects of the Affordable Care Act on Health Behaviors after Three Years|
with Charles Courtemanche, James Marton, Aaron Yelowitz, Daniela Zapata: w24511
This paper examines the impacts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – which substantially increased insurance coverage through regulations, mandates, subsidies, and Medicaid expansions – on behaviors related to future health risks after three years. Using data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and an identification strategy that leverages variation in pre-ACA uninsured rates and state Medicaid expansion decisions, we show that the ACA increased preventive care utilization along several dimensions, but also increased risky drinking. These results are driven by the private portions of the law, as opposed to the Medicaid expansion. We also conduct subsample analyses by income and age.
|March 2017||Early Effects of the Affordable Care Act on Health Care Access, Risky Health Behaviors, and Self-Assessed Health|
with Charles Courtemanche, James Marton, Aaron Yelowitz, Daniela Zapata: w23269
The goal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was to achieve nearly universal health insurance coverage through a combination of mandates, subsidies, marketplaces, and Medicaid expansions, most of which took effect in 2014. We use data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to examine the impacts of the ACA on health care access, risky health behaviors, and self-assessed health after two years. We estimate difference-in-difference-in-differences models that exploit variation in treatment intensity from state participation in the Medicaid expansion and pre-ACA uninsured rates. Results suggest that the ACA led to sizeable improvements in access to health care in both Medicaid expansion and non-expansion states, with the gains being larger in expansion states along some dimensions. N...
Published: Charles Courtemanche & James Marton & Benjamin Ukert & Aaron Yelowitz & Daniela Zapata, 2018. "Early Effects of the Affordable Care Act on Health Care Access, Risky Health Behaviors, and Self-Assessed Health," Southern Economic Journal, vol 84(3), pages 660-691.
|April 2016||Impacts of the Affordable Care Act on Health Insurance Coverage in Medicaid Expansion and Non-Expansion States|
with Charles Courtemanche, James Marton, Aaron Yelowitz, Daniela Zapata: w22182
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) aimed to achieve nearly universal health insurance coverage in the United States through a combination of insurance market reforms, mandates, subsidies, health insurance exchanges, and Medicaid expansions, most of which took effect in 2014. This paper estimates the causal effects of the ACA on health insurance coverage using data from the American Community Survey. We utilize difference-in-difference-in-differences models that exploit cross-sectional variation in the intensity of treatment arising from state participation in the Medicaid expansion and local area pre-ACA uninsured rates. This strategy allows us to identify the effects of the ACA in both Medicaid expansion and non-expansion states. Our preferred specification suggests that, at the average pre-tr...
Published: Charles Courtemanche & James Marton & Benjamin Ukert & Aaron Yelowitz & Daniela Zapata, 2017. "Early Impacts of the Affordable Care Act on Health Insurance Coverage in Medicaid Expansion and Non-Expansion States," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, vol 36(1), pages 178-210.
|January 2016||The Effect of Smoking on Obesity: Evidence from a Randomized Trial|
with Charles Courtemanche, Rusty Tchernis: w21937
This paper aims to identify the causal effect of smoking on body mass index (BMI) using data from the Lung Health Study, a randomized trial of smoking cessation treatments. Since nicotine is a metabolic stimulant and appetite suppressant, quitting or reducing smoking could lead to weight gain. Using randomized treatment assignment to instrument for smoking, we estimate that quitting smoking leads to an average long- run weight gain of 1.8-1.9 BMI units, or 11-12 pounds at the average height. These results imply that the drop in smoking in recent decades explains 14% of the concurrent rise in obesity. Semi-parametric models provide evidence of a diminishing marginal effect of smoking on BMI, while subsample regressions show that the impact is largest for younger individuals, females, those ...
Published: Charles Courtemanche & Rusty Tchernis & Benjamin Ukert, 2018. "The effect of smoking on obesity: Evidence from a randomized trial," Journal of Health Economics, vol 57, pages 31-44. citation courtesy of