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In the years after health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act unfurled in Multnomah County, Oregon, cardiac arrests among those newly covered fell 17 percent, researchers report this week in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
The pilot study, led by researchers at Oregon Health & Science University and the Heart Institute of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, is just an observational study—it can’t determine causation—and it only looked at the one county. But, the authors argue, the data begs for follow-up.
“Despite general agreement that expanded insurance coverage leads to positive health effects, the mechanism of this benefit and effect on health outcomes remains poorly understood,” they note. In past small studies, findings have been murky on whether health insurance significantly alters major health events—such as cardiac arrests.
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