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Health Status, Health Insurance, and Medical Services Utilization: 2010
by Brett O’Hara and Kyle Caswell
The national health spending for Americans has increased in recent years and is projected to continue on a rapid growth trajectory. This phenomenon is subject to the interplay of many forces, both demographic and economic. People are living longer, have declining health status for more years than in the past, and are consuming more medical services. Regardless of demographic characteristics, health insurance coverage affects medical service utilization and cost. Uninsured people more often forgo or delay medical services compared with people who have health insurance coverage. Further, uninsured people are more costly to the health care system than are insured people.