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Effects of the Affordable Care Act of Health Care Access and Self-Assessed Health After Three Years

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Using data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, we examine the causal impact of the Affordable Care Act on health-related outcomes after 3 years. We estimate difference-in-difference-in-differences models that exploit variation in treatment intensity from 2 sources: (1) local area prereform uninsured rates from 2013 and (2) state participation in the Medicaid expansion. Including the third postreform year leads to 2 important insights. First, gains in health insurance coverage and access to care from the policy continued to increase in the third year. Second, an improvement in the probability of reporting excellent health emerged in the third year, with the effect being largely driven by the non-Medicaid expansions components of the policy.

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