The news wire service United Press International has covered the research of SMU economist Manan Roy, a doctoral candidate and adjunct professor in the SMU Department of Economics.

Roy analyzed new federal data about insured infants to compare public health insurance with private health insurance. Her analysis found that among the insured, infants in low-income families are better off under the nation’s government-funded public health insurance than infants covered by private insurance.

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SAN DIEGO, Dec. 8 (UPI) — Public health insurance coverage for infants is more comprehensive and costs less than private health insurance plans, a U.S. researcher found.

Study author Manan Roy, a Ph.D. student and an adjunct professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, said in the national debate over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — which requires all Americans to have health insurance — it’s widely assumed private health insurance can do a better job than the public insurance funded by the U.S. government.

Infants covered under Medicaid and its sister program — CHIP — come mostly from lower-income families who are more likely to be unmarried, younger, less educated, poor and disadvantaged, while infants covered by private health insurance are mostly from white and are generally more advantaged, Roy said.

“Public health insurance gets a lot of bad press,” Roy said in a statement. “But for infants who are covered by health insurance, the government-funded insurance appears to be more efficient than private health insurance — and can actually provide better care at a lower cost.”

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