Medicaid Helps


Anchor lead: Allowing more people to get Medicaid reduces the risk for advanced cancer, Elizabeth Tracey reports

When the Affordable Care Act was implemented, many more people, especially those at lower incomes, were eligible for benefits under Medicaid. Now a new study shows that having that coverage reduced their risk for being diagnosed with an advanced cancer. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, describes the findings.

Nelson: What they found was a fifteen percent reduction or so of the odds of developing very advanced cancer, cancers that had spread throughout the body, we call metastatic cancer. There’s a fifteen percent lower chance of getting that in the second period after Medicaid expansion than in the period before. And they look in people with private insurance they didn’t have this change in the second period versus the first period so this does seem to be unique to this population. :26

Nelson notes that this reduction in advanced cancers is likely real since it wasn’t seen during the same period in those with private insurance, and argues for extension of these benefits to low income people, who may avoid seeking healthcare because of cost. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.