Count me among those who didn’t know realize there was a debate about this, but apparently people have been arguing about whether Medicaid does any good for people. As described in a recent New York Times article, the state of Oregon held a lottery where they randomly assigned Medicaid coverage to 10,000 out of the 90,000 who applied. See also this post at the Monkey Cage.
I like this description of the design from the New York Times:
By assigning coverage randomly, Oregon gave researchers more confidence that they had teased out the true effects of insurance, and had not been fooled by other differences between the insured and the uninsured.
The Times apparently decided the study was not good enough to stand on its own, and decided to interview “17 insured and uninsured participants.” At least we know the treatment was random there, though!