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Medicaid-Expanded States Diagnose Breast Cancer at Earlier Stage

Patients in states with expanded Medicaid coverage through the Affordable Care Act saw a higher percentage of women with breast cancer diagnosed at an earlier stage of disease. Expansion of Medicaid was associated with both a reduced number of uninsured patients and a decrease in the incidence of advanced-stage breast cancer.

A particular benefit was observed for African American patients. Incidence of advanced disease for African American patients decreased from 24.6% to 21.6% in Medicaid expansion states, while the incidence of advanced disease remained at about 27% in states that didn’t expamd Medicaid.

“This result was particularly striking since African American women generally present with more aggressive cancer and decreased survival rates,” said researcher Tristen Park of the Yale University School of Medicine.

Park and her colleagues analyzed the medical records of 1,796,902 women breast cancer from 31 Medicaid expansion states and 14 non-Medicaid expansion states.

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