Health Law’s Medicaid Expansion Helped States Reduce Racial Disparities In Cancer Treatments
Before the health law went into effect, African Americans with advanced cancer were 4.8 percentage points less likely to start treatment for their disease within 30 days of being given a diagnosis. But today, black adults in states that expanded Medicaid have almost entirely caught up with white patients in getting timely treatment, researchers said.
The Associated Press:
Study: More Blacks Got Timely Cancer Care After 'Obamacare'
New research suggests that states that expanded Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act eliminated racial differences in being able to quickly start on treatment after a diagnosis of advanced cancer. The law that is often called "Obamacare" let states expand Medicaid eligibility and offer subsidies to help people buy health insurance. (6/2)
The Washington Post:
ACA Linked To Reduced Racial Disparities, Earlier Diagnosis And Treatment In Cancer Care
The findings, coming as health care emerges as an increasingly important issue in the 2020 presidential campaign, were released Sunday as abstracts at the annual meeting in Chicago of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. The conference attracts some 40,000 cancer specialists to one of the world’s largest oncology meetings. According to researchers involved in the racial-disparity study, before the ACA went into effect, African Americans with advanced cancer were 4.8 percentage points less likely to start treatment for their disease within 30 days of being given a diagnosis. But today, black adults in states that expanded Medicaid under the law have almost entirely caught up with white patients in getting timely treatment, researchers said. (McGinley, 6/2)
The Wall Street Journal:
Health Law Improved Access To Cancer Treatment, Studies Show
The new studies suggest that “patients who have better health-care coverage have better access to care, get diagnosed sooner, get started on treatment sooner,” Dr. Monica Bertagnolli, an oncologist and president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, or ASCO, said in an interview. The medical society is featuring the studies prominently at its annual meeting in Chicago this weekend, with thousands of cancer doctors in attendance. Typically, ASCO spotlights results of new clinical studies of cancer treatments, but it is increasingly turning its attention to whether those treatments are out of reach for patients because of high costs and insurance status. (Loftus, 6/2)
Affordable Care Act Erased A Racial Disparity In Cancer Care, Study Says
The new findings are striking. The study compared 18,678 patients who were treated for cancer either before states expanded the number of people who could receive Medicaid benefits under the ACA, or in states that chose not to expand Medicaid, to 11,708 patients who were treated in states that did expand Medicaid. Without Medicaid expansion, white patients received chemotherapy within a month of their cancer diagnosis 48.3% of the time. But African-American patients received chemotherapy within a month 43.5% of the time, 4.8-point difference. (Herper, 6/2)
In other news on the health law —
Former CBO Director: GOP Blew Health Care Law Repeal, Not Us
Outgoing Congressional Budget Office Director Keith Hall held his fire when the agency was under attack in 2017 for estimating that a repeal of the 2010 health care law would throw millions of people off health insurance. Now that he is leaving the agency, he can speak more freely. In an interview in his office last week, Hall said if anyone is to blame for Republicans’ failure to repeal the health care law, it's Republicans themselves. (Krawzak, 6/3)