After two years since the Affordable Care Act was enacted, Obamacare is starting to show results. A new study finds that since 2014, more and more Hispanic women have received treatment for cancer and participated in clinical trials, in a California cancer center.
Chloe Lalonde, a clinical research coordinator at the University of California, stated that since the implementation of ACA, more women of Hispanic origin have come to the cancer center. At the same time, the number of Spanish-speaking patients has increased as well.
Lalonde believes these patients previously did not have insurance. Now, with Obamacare, they too have access to adequate healthcare.
To determine the impact of Obamacare, researchers looked at the number of Hispanic women who came to receive treatment between 2010 and 2013, before the implementation of ACA. They then compared that number with the number of women of Hispanic origin who received treatment between January 2014 and December 2015.
They also assessed the number of women who participated in clinical trials related to breast cancer within those two timeframes. The authors of the study pointed out that it’s very important to have diverse patients when it comes to clinical trials. The more variated data researchers can acquire, the more accurate the results.
Before and After Obamacare
The statistics the uncovered were quite telling. Before Obamacare, 10% of the patients with breast cancer who visited Moores Cancer Center were Hispanic. After the act passed, that number rose by 6 points, up to 16%.
And when it comes to clinical trials, the increase is even more impressive. Between 2010-2013, 12% of the volunteers for the center’s clinical trial of first-line chemo were women. That number nearly doubled after ACA to 22%.
And more than that, the study showed that the number of Spanish-speaking patients in the clinical trial was six times higher after the implementation of Obamacare.
Naturally, it is difficult to prove a direct cause-effect relation between the enactment of Obamacare and these figures. But the authors of the study find it hard to believe this is just a coincidence.
The study itself was relatively small in scope. They only looked at one breast cancer clinic in the state of California. They argue that they need to expand the project, and include more clinics around the US, in order to accurately determine the impact of Obamacare.
Hispanic Women Highly at Risk
There are currently 55 million US residents of Hispanic origin. They are considered the largest minority in the US, making up 17% of the nation’s total population.
According to the CDC, in 2014 a quarter of all Hispanic people under the age of 65, living in the US, lacked health insurance. By contrast, the number of white Americans who did not have health insurance within that same age group was 9.4%.
Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death for women, regardless of their ethnicity. For Hispanic women, the issue is made worse by the fact that they tend to have less access to mammograms. There are multiple reasons why this is the case. Often, they simply do not have access to a facility that can prove this sort of screening.
But more often than not, the issue is money. And without timely screenings, breast cancer is difficult, if not impossible to cure.
Image Source: National Cancer Center