ACA Linked To Reduced Racial Disparities, Earlier Diagnosis and Treatment In Cancer Care

In Healthcare On

Proponents of the embattled Affordable Care Act got additional ammunition Sunday: New research links the law to a reduction in racial disparities in the care of cancer patients and to earlier diagnoses and treatment of ovarian cancer, one of the most dangerous malignancies.

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.

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