By Leah Lawrence | July 1, 2020

The expansion of Medicaid as part of the Affordable Care Act was associated with an almost 10% absolute reduction in the number of patients with breast cancer without insurance, and a significant reduction in the number of women diagnosed with late-stage disease, researchers reported.

Using data from almost 1.8 million women from the National Cancer Database, Tristen Park, MD, of Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut, and colleagues found that the percentage of uninsured women with breast cancer decreased from 22.6% in 2012-2013 to 13.5% in 2015-2016 in states that expanded Medicaid (P<0.001). By comparison, in the states that did not expand Medicaid, there was only a 1% absolute reduction -- from 36.5% to 35.6%. The study, published online in JAMA Surgery, also showed a significant decrease in late-stage disease after Medicaid expansion compared with before among states that expanded Medicaid (21.0% vs 19.0%, P<0.001), but there was no change among states that did not expand Medicaid access. Read more here.