This landmark and pioneering study was uniquely ambitious, remarkably sophisticated for its time, and entrepreneurial in the design and implementation of the then-new science of randomized experiments in the social sciences.
The importance of the findings from this large field-experiment cannot be overstated:
one of the central contributions of the RAND experiment is robust: the rejection of the null hypothesis that health spending does not respond to the out-of-pocket priceIn other words, people react to costs, even when they consider their own health. (Remember, this was an almost revolutionary finding some 30 years ago!)
To quote the working paper once more, "it seems useful to remind a younger generation of economics of the details, and limitations, of the original work." Do read this.