Fatal Brain Injuries In Blacks And Hispanics Dropped Under The Affordable Care Act

The ACA has saved lives - there's no doubt about it. Basov Mikhail/Shutterstock

Several landmark studies published in the last few years point towards the success of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – better known as Obamacare. A recent Oregon-focused research paper found that cardiac arrests dropped dramatically following its implementation, for example.

Now, writing in the journal Surgery, a team led by the University of Wisconsin has found that fatal brain injuries in certain minority groups have plummeted too.

“We sought to gauge the Affordable Care Act’s effect on outcomes after traumatic brain injury, as graded by race/ethnicity and insurance status,” the team explained.

A careful analysis of a huge data collection of traumatic brain injuries revealed that, since the implementation of the ACA, black and Hispanic patients had a 20 percent lower mortality rate. Other minority groups, including Asians and Native Americans, experienced no statistically significant change, but those uninsured died 9 percent more frequently.

Those on Medicaid – the federal support program that ensures low-income families have access to healthcare – didn’t experience a decrease in mortality rates linked to brain injuries. However, they spent less time at hospitals, required fewer operations, and recovered quicker.

Brain injury mortality rates have clearly fallen in at least two different demographics. Puwadol Jaturawutthichai/Shutterstock

Detractors of the aforementioned Oregon study pointed out that it’s difficult extrapolating the effects of the ACA when you’re only focusing on one such state. The same criticism cannot be leveled at this new piece of research, which took its data from the National Trauma Data Bank (NTDB).

This is a compilation of the causes, diagnoses, and outcomes of traumatic injuries that take place across the entire country. From emergency rooms to specialized trauma centers, this information is sent in by participants from every single state.

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