The link between having health insurance and the number of cardiovascular deaths recorded has been investigated in a new study. It was found that states that expanded eligibility for Medicaid insurance saw fewer cardiovascular-related deaths.
The Significance of Medicaid Expansion
From the results of the study, it is clear that cardiovascular disease has a greater effect on the population among those that are in the low-income bracket and do not have health insurance. This makes the Medicaid expansion as part of the Affordable Care Act an important topic as far as having better public health is concerned.
Medicaid is a health insurance program that mostly covers low-income individuals and other groups of qualified people. The move to expand who could qualify under the program began in 2014. As of mid-2019, 33 states plus the District of Columbia had carried out the eligibility expansion.
The investigation was conducted by Sameed Khatana, who is a cardiologist at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia, together with colleagues. The team looked at the death rates due to cardiovascular disease in a number of states. County-level data was used for the 29 states together with Washington, D.C., which had expanded their Medicaid ability by 2014 or 2016. This data was compared with data from states that had not done a similar expansion, of which there were 19 states. They focused particularly on the 45 to 64-year-old age bracket and analyzed the statistics for the year 2010 right up to 2016.
The results of many states increasing the number of people who are eligible for Medicaid are quite significant. The results show that there were, on average, 4.3 fewer deaths related to cardiovascular disease for every 100,000 residents every year compared with if they had not expanded their eligibility. More on the findings can be found in JAMA Cardiology.