Has the ACA Improved Cancer Survivability?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a hot-button topic and has been a political football since it was signed into law in 2010. In the wake of the 2020 pandemic, more attention to the efficacy of the ACA has come to the forefront as insurance coverage became more in demand.

The American Cancer Society studied how Medicaid expansion under the ACA has helped to increase the overall survival rates in patients with newly diagnosed cancer. The study revealed that one-year overall survival rates increased from 88.1% pre-ACA to 89.1% post-ACA in Medicaid expansion states, and from 85.6% to 86.4% in non-expansion states.

Another encouraging finding was the fact that the greatest improvements were seen in the areas with the lowest economic standing, likely due to improved access to treatments over time. This has helped to narrow apparent wealth disparities in cancer survivability overall.

Researchers from the American Cancer Society noted that they are very encouraged by these results and very encouraged with the road ahead.  Study authors recommend similar studies be made across other diseases.