Brain injuries have been a hot topic lately, especially concerning young athletes and children who play contact sports such as football from an early age. But understanding the anatomical ramifications of such injuries is only one side of the coin — because equally crucial are the medical ones.
For instance, according to a new study published in the journal Surgery, fewer Blacks and Hispanics have died due to traumatic brain injuries under the Affordable Care Act.
A Look at the Research
For the study — led by the Division of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery and the Department of Surgery at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health — researchers looked at the National Trauma Data Bank to assess patients traumatic brain injury patients pre and post the Affordable Care Act. The data per patient they examined included:
- Hospital length of stay
- In-hospital deaths
- Discharge to rehabilitation
“Using regression analysis, we evaluated the impact of race/ethnicity and insurance status on traumatic brain injury outcomes, then compared them before and after the Affordable Care Act,” the researchers wrote.
A Summary of the Results
The researchers conclude that under the ACA brain injury-related deaths for Blacks and Hispanics dropped by 20 percent, while there was a nine percent increase in such deaths for those without any health insurance at all.
This last bit is especially troubling because as saludmovil™ previously reported, the current administration’s health care policies “could add an additional 24 million people to the list of the uninsured, according to estimates by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). In California alone, the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA) estimates that 4.6 million will lose coverage, with many of those being Hispanic.”
As for Medicaid patients assessed during the study, although their rate of brain injury-related deaths did not change, they did show shorter hospital stays, discharge to rehabilitation and number of surgeries.
More Compelling Benefits of the ACA
While matters of life and death are undoubtedly the most high-stake variables to consider when we assess the pros and cons of the Obamacare, there are other factors to examine.
For example, a study previously covered by saludmovil™ concluded that California residents with expanded access to Medicaid under the ACA reduced the use of two-week loans by 11 percent. These loans usually come with interest rates that are a whopping 300 percent higher than other debt, “which creates a vicious cycle of debt for borrowers who are usually low-to-middle-class individuals targeted by predatory lenders.”
Looking at the benefits of the ACA for Hispanics alone makes it difficult to imagine the risks of doing away with it. Consider another study we covered that showed Hispanics “with healthcare coverage score an average of 50% higher on six key measures of healthcare access, compared to Hispanics without coverage.”
Hispanics have also more than doubled their reception of preventative care, an essential aspect of health for a portion of the population disproportionately affected by conditions like obesity, diabetes, and infant mortality. That same report shows Hispanics have increased their regular doctor visits overall, and since the ACA, “have been 50% more likely to receive needed medical care.”
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