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NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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The Affordable Care Act and Ambulance Response Times

Charles Courtemanche, Andrew Friedson, Andrew P. Koller, Daniel I. Rees

NBER Working Paper No. 23722
Issued in August 2017, Revised in September 2017
NBER Program(s):Health Care, Health Economics, Public Economics

This study contributes to the literature on supply-side adjustments to insurance expansions by examining the effect of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on ambulance response times. Exploiting temporal and geographic variation in the implementation of the ACA as well as pre-treatment differences in uninsured rates, we estimate that the expansions of private and Medicaid coverage under the ACA combined to slow ambulance response times by an average of 19%. We conclude that, through extending coverage to individuals who, in its absence, would not have availed themselves of emergency medical services, the ACA added strain to emergency response systems.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w23722

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