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The U.S. health insurance model frequently costs more and provides less care than systems in other Western nations. RAND's health insurance research began in 1971 with the 15-year Health Insurance Experiment, the only community-based experimental study of how cost-sharing arrangements affect people’s use of health services, their quality of care, and their health status. Subsequent research has continued to inform the U.S. policy debate.

  • Supporters of a "Medicare for All" plan gather on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., September 13, 2017, photo by Yuri Gripas/Reuters

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    Spending Estimates Under Medicare for All

    Apr 10, 2019

    Under a Medicare for All plan similar to some proposals being discussed in Congress, total health expenditures would be an estimated 1.8 percent higher in 2019, relative to the status quo. While this is a small change in national spending, the federal government's health spending would increase substantially, rising by an estimated 221 percent.

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    The RAND Health Insurance Experiment: A Retrospective at 40 Years

    Jan 13, 2017

    In June 2016, RAND hosted a two-day celebration to mark the 40th anniversary of the RAND Health Insurance Experiment (HIE), the largest, most comprehensive, evidence-based health policy study in U.S. history.

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