A pair of studies have found that Obamacare led to an increase in early-stage ovarian cancer detections and helped nearly erase racial differences in the timely treatment of a range of cancers.
The findings, which were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncological annual meeting in Chicago, come as the administration of President Donald Trump is renewing its efforts to strike down the Affordable Care Act signed into law by his predecessor Barack Obama.
The study on ovarian cancer screening was led by Anna Jo Smith at the Johns Hopkins Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics in Baltimore.
“Having health insurance plays a major role in whether or not a woman has access to care providers who can monitor symptoms and act on those symptoms if necessary,”she said.
The five-year survival rate for women diagnosed with early-stage ovarian cancer is 75 percent, but the figure drops dramatically to 30 percent for those diagnosed at a later stage.
The ACA was signed into law on March 2010, and by 2016-17, some 12.7 million people were covered under the law.
The percentage of Americans who were uninsured dropped from 16 percent in 2010 to less than 12 percent by 2016.
The researchers used data from the National Cancer Database to look at the years before (2004-2009) and after (2011-2014) the passing of the ACA.
They looked at the stage of the diagnosis and the time to treatment for the 21 to 64 age group, and compared it to those 65 and older, which was used as a control group because they had access to publicly funded Medicare before and after.
They found that there was a relative gain of 1.7 percent in early-stage diagnosis and a 1.6 percent improvement in receiving treatment within 30 days.
The team wrote in a statement: “While a 1.7% difference in being diagnosed earlier may not sound very large, for the 22,000 women diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the United States annually, it means that close to 400 more women could be diagnosed at an early, treatable stage.”
– Racial differences erased –
The second paper on Obamacare found that differences between whites and blacks in timely care “practically disappeared” following the passage of the law.
Two key provisions of the ACA were granting states permission to expand public funded Medicaid coverage to low-income citizens starting in 2014, and providing subsidies to those who could not afford to buy private insurance if they did not qualify for Medicaid.
The study looked at the records of 2.2 million people diagnosed with advanced cancers including non-small cell lung cancer, breast, urothelial, gastric and esophageal, colorectal, renal cell, prostate, and melanoma cancers.
“Prior to Medicaid expansion, African American patients were 4.8 percentage points less likely to receive timely treatment as compared with white patients,” the researchers wrote.
After the ACA was passed, 6.1 percent more blacks received timely treatment as well as 2.1 percent of whites, making the differences between the races statistically insignificant.
“Many studies have described racial disparities that exist in cancer care, but few have shown what types of interventions improve health equity — we now have evidence that Medicaid expansion can mitigate certain health disparities,” said study author Amy J. Davidoff at the Yale School of Public Health.
Trump’s Justice Department announced in March an abrupt escalation in the administration’s push against Obamacare by siding with a Texas federal court ruling that declared the health care law unconstitutional.
That ruling is currently being appealed and the resulting impasse looks increasingly likely to end up in the Supreme Court — putting a politically radioactive issue center stage as the country moves towards the 2020 presidential election.
United States, Mexico, Canada finalize Donald Trump’s USMCA trade deal
The United States, Mexico and Canada signed a deal Tuesday to finalize their new trade agreement, paving the way to ratification after more than two years of arduous negotiations.
However, the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump in the US Senate would likely delay Congressional ratification of the agreement until next year, said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
In reality, it is the second time the three countries have triumphantly announced the conclusion of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the deal meant to replace the 25-year-old NAFTA, which President Donald Trump complains has been "a disaster" for the US.
MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow on Tuesday examined President Donald Trump's meeting with Russian Federation Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov -- on the same day that the House of Representatives unveiled articles of impeachment against the commander-in-chief.
Following the meeting, Lavrov trolled Trump on the issues of foreign election interference and Trump's habit of revealing classified intelligence.
"Given that, given the way the president is being impeached for having done all those things to Ukraine in and way that undermined our alliance with them and specifically their fight against Russian aggression -- which has, you know, led to a five-year-long war in Ukraine -- I mean given the fact he's being impeached for undermining Ukraine in its war against Russia, this is heck of a day to choose to have the Russian foreign minister sitting on your lap in the Oval Office," Maddow said.
Trump propaganda network tried to get visa for arrested Ukrainian official to give them Biden dirt: report
On Tuesday, The Daily Beast reported that One America News Network, a pro-Trump TV channel that competes with Fox News, tried to secure a U.S. visa for Oleksandr Onyshchenko, a former Ukrainian lawmaker who was arrested last week by German authorities on corruption charges.
OAN reportedly was interested in transporting Onyschenko to America to help uncover dirt on Burisma, the energy company linked to former Vice President Joe Biden's son, and the focus of President Donald Trump's attempts to coerce the Ukrainian government to interfere with U.S. elections. They are reportedly also seeking visas for "several other" Ukrainian officials.