ACA Coverage Expansion Expected to Reduce Cardiovascular Deaths

CDC report estimates that the Affordable Care Act could lead to 111,000 fewer new coronary heart disease events and 95,000 fewer CVD-related deaths by 2050.

Approximately 78 million adult Americans suffer from hypertension, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD); however, due to lack of appropriate health insurance, uninsured adults with hypertension are about 4 times more likely to have lower treatment and control rates as well unmet medical care needs compare with patients with insurance.

In an effort to better understand the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s initiative to expand access to more hypertensive patients, researchers with the CDC discovered that the expansion has the potential to raise the treatment rate for hypertensive patients by 5.1%.

The report estimated that the expansion could lead to 111,000 fewer new coronary heart disease events and 95,000 fewer CVD-related deaths by 2050. The researchers also found that the benefits were slightly greater for men than for women and were also slightly greater among minority populations.

Expansion of the health coverage established by the ACA would ultimately generate substantial health benefits for nearly 55 million adult Americans, CDC researchers wrote in their report.

“Federal and state efforts to expand insurance coverage among nonelderly adults could yield significant health benefits in terms of CVD prevalence and mortality rates and narrow the racial [and] ethnic disparities in health outcomes for patients with hypertension,” the researchers added.