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ACA May be Improving, Saving Lives

The insurance expansion made possible by the Affordable Care Act may be improving and even saving lives, some studies and anecdotal evidence suggest.

While observers warn that it is difficult to attempt to render a final verdict on the reform law’s insurance expansion and its impact, various studies and observations point to encouraging developments.  Among them:

  • High blood pressure is being detected at a higher rate now among people who bought insurance as a result of the ACA than it was prior to the law’s passage.
  • Fewer 19-26 year-olds, now permitted to remain on their parents’ health insurance, are choosing not to see a doctor about their asthma because of the cost of seeking care.
  • Women in Michigan report having an easier time obtaining birth control pills.
  • Participants in a Michigan program are reporting an increased likelihood of learning they have chronic medical conditions than was the case before they were insured.
  • People between their mid-50s and mid-60s living in states that expanded their Medicaid programs, and who took advantage of that expansion, had a lower death rate than similar people in non-expansion states.

Pennsylvania is among the 37 states (including the District of Columbia) that took advantage of the Affordable Care Act to expand its Medicaid program.

Learn more about some of the documented and observed benefits of the Affordable Care Act’s improved access to health insurance in the Washington Post article “With the Affordable Care Act’s future in doubt, evidence grows that it saves lives.”

Filed in Affordable Care Act, Pennsylvania Medicaid policy.

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2012 Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania