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Public Health Reports: Improved Health and Insurance Status Among Cigarette Smokers After Medicaid Expansion, 2011-2016

In a recent article in Public Health Reports, Ms. Clare C. Brown and Drs. J. Mick Tilford and T. Mac Bird of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health evaluated how Medicaid expansion influenced smoking behavior, access to health care, and health of low-income adults. Data was obtained for low-income adults aged 18-64 from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (2011-2016). A quasi-experimental difference-in-difference approach was used to compare smoking behavior, overall health, and access to health care among low-income current smokers in expansion and nonexpansion states. Results indicated that low-income smokers in expansion states were likelier to have health insurance and report good or better health, while being less likely to have cost-related barriers to care, than low-income smokers in non-expansion states. Moreover, health and insurance gains among low-income smokers were also larger in expansion states, which the authors concluded could influence future smoking behaviors in this group and justifies long-term monitoring.

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Public Health Reports is the official journal of the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General and the U.S. Public Health Service and has been published since 1878. It is published bimonthly, plus supplement issues, through an official agreement with the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health.

Visit Public Health Reports for more information about the journal.