|About the Book|
Substantial health disparity among different segments of population is well documented in the literature. In recent years, interest in health economics has shifted from simply documenting health disparity to revealing the underlying causes of healthMoreSubstantial health disparity among different segments of population is well documented in the literature. In recent years, interest in health economics has shifted from simply documenting health disparity to revealing the underlying causes of health disparity. This dissertation analyzes the effect of free access to medical care on health disparity among veterans based on 2001 National Survey of Veterans.-We first use Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition, concentration index and Gini coefficient to measure and decompose the health disparity. The consistent findings indicate that the main contributor for health disparity is income and the impact of income on health is much larger for veterans without free access to VA medical care. To explain these findings, health care disparity in VA outpatient health service usage is analyzed with negative binomial model. The results reveal that the profound disparity in access to alternative health care choices is the pathway linking income and health and is the crucial cause for health disparity.-We also explore the racial disparity and gender disparity in health and health care. We find evidence suggesting that although there are signs of improvement in some dimension, VA still need to make effort to improve health care quality provided to veterans.-Finally, due to the increasing concern about the health status of Gulf war veterans and its close relation with Iraq war, health disparity between Gulf war veterans and non-Gulf war veterans is also evaluated. A nonparametric generalized additive model is used to control the non-linear age effect. After correctly control age effect, the results indicate that Gulf War veterans who were exposed to toxic chemical exposures are strongly associated with the abnormally high risk of the Gulf war illness. This finding is consistent with the report released by the Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War veterans Illnesses.