Assume that the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a landmark healthcare reform act passed by the United States Government in 2012, is still in the process of full implementation. Prior to its passage, earlier versions originally proposed the provision of medical care free of charge to the U.S. population. Suppose that you have been asked to evaluate the potential effects of the ACA nationwide. There are two key issues to consider. One issue has to do with how much more medical care people would use if it could be offered free of charge. The second issue has to do with what effect the medical care would have on the health of the average person. Assume you have 3–5 years to conduct the evaluation.
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- Assuming no financial restraint, briefly outline what method(s) you would suggest using for assessing the impact of free coverage on usage of medical services and on health outcomes.
- Use a randomized field experimental design, a cost benefit/effectiveness quantitative evaluation design, or both, and explain your choice.