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BANKRUPTCY, MEDICAL INSURANCE, AND A LAW WITH UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES

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ABSTRACT

Congress passed the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) in 1986, guaranteeing a standard of medical care to anyone who entered an emergency room. This guarantee made default a more reliable substitute for medical insurance. I construct a tractable structural model of the medical insurance market and find that repealing EMTALA would increase the fraction of the population with insurance while decreasing its price. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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