Recent literature on the Medicaid program in the US suggests that having access to affordable health care at early age can influence long-term outcomes, but it remains unclear whether such findings may apply outside the unique health care system in the US. In this study, I explore the evidence from Vietnam, which launched a national program that fully subsidizes health care for children under 6 years old in 2005. Using difference-in-differences approach, I compare outcomes at adolescent age across individuals with different exposure to the program in their early childhood due to when they were born and where they lived. I found that those with higher exposure to the program at early ages are less likely to be hospitalized. This suggests that health care access at early age can improve health in the long-run.
Presented in Session 196. Policies, Programs and Their Impacts on Health and Mortality