Obamacare and its Effects on Fertility and Cervical Cancer

By Nephron (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.htm

Two years after the implementation of Obamacare, the proportion of women diagnosed with early-stage cervical cancer has increased, as has the rate of treatment necessary to preserve fertility. The number of women who have lost their fertility due to cervical cancer in their early twenties appears to have diminished due to the provision in Obamacare that allows young adults to remain covered on their parents’ health insurance, according to an early analysis of cancer data.

Potential Health Impacts

The findings of the cancer data analysis offers a view into the potential health impacts of allowing young females to remain on their parents’ health insurance until the age of 26. Shortly after Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act was enacted, the percentage of insurance Americans between the ages of 19 and 25 skyrocketed.

Two years after the ACA came into effect, the amount of insured females aged 21 to 25 who were diagnosed with early-stage cervical cancer had increased by 9 percent, while the proportion of women who received treatment preserving fertility rose to 12 percent. The early findings are particularly significant because the disease is much easier to treat and has a better outcome if it is found in its earliest stage.

The Study

Dr. Xuesong Han and her team at the American Cancer Society published their findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The investigators reviewed data from females aged 21 to 25 and between the ages of 26 to 34 years old.

Dr. Han stated that these early findings were encouraging, but not enough to definitely prove that the ACA is the reason for the increase in the early diagnosis of cervical cancer and fertility preserving treatments.

Dr. Han stated, “The results are what we expected to find, “given the rise in insurance rates among young people. However, she further stated, “But a long-term study will help us really establish a causal relationship, and tell us what this means for care and outcome.”

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists around 13,000 women are diagnosed with new cases of cervical cancer annually. Cervical cancer kills 1,400 of the women newly diagnosed every year. The college recommends regular PAP smears for women 21 years of age and older.

Conclusion:

The new findings of the study are not broken down according to race. In the United States, Hispanic women are the most likely race to develop cervical cancer, followed by African-Americans, Pacific Islanders and Asian women, followed by Caucasian females.

In her study, Dr. Han noted previous research studies that show women on Medicaid are less likely to get an early diagnosis or fertility preserving treatments, than females who have no insurance at all. The explanation is complex, but Dr. Han believes these women who are uninsured with cervical cancer will enroll in Medicaid as soon as they are diagnosed, meaning the numbers can be skewered.


 
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