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Invited Commentary
Health Policy
February 19, 2020

The Affordable Care Act and Insurance Status, Stage, and Timely Treatment Among Patients With Cancer: What Are the Possible Effects?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California
  • 2Stanford-Surgery Policy Improvement Research & Education Center, Stanford, California
  • 3Health Economics Resource Center, Department of Veterans Affairs, Palo Alto, California
  • 4Section of Trauma and Surgical Critical Care, Department of Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California
JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(2):e1921690. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.21690

Cancer ranks among the top 3 most costly medical conditions to diagnose and treat in the United States. The economic burden of cancer care is projected to increase to $173 billion by 2020, an increase of 39% from 2010.1 It has been well documented that cancer represents a significant financial liability for patients and their families, particularly among the poorly insured.2 Since the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), the effect of Medicaid expansion on insurance coverage, access to care, and clinical outcomes of patients with cancer has not been well elucidated, despite intense scrutiny of the law’s effects.

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