Skip to Content

Affordable Care Act Reduced Income Inequality in United States

FRIDAY, Jan. 8, 2021 -- The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has reduced income inequality, with a larger decrease in states that expanded Medicaid, according to a study published in the January issue of Health Affairs.

Matthew Buettgens, Ph.D., from the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C., and colleagues simulated the impact of the ACA on income inequality in 2019 compared to a scenario without the ACA. The study made use of alternative income measures that incorporate the value of the ACA health insurance changes under the law.

The researchers observed a reduction in income inequality with the ACA, and the decrease was much larger in states that did versus those that did not expand Medicaid. Nationwide, with the ACA, average income increased as a percentage of the federal poverty level by 18.8, 13.0, 8.4, and 8.4 percent for those in the 10th, 20th, 30th, and 40th income percentiles, respectively. Compared with a scenario without the ACA, with the ACA, income inequality reduced by 10.6 percent as measured by the Theil index. The ACA reduced inequality across and within groups based on race/ethnicity, age, and family educational attainments.

"These findings provide additional insight into the effect of potential repeal of the ACA," the authors write. "The ACA reduced income inequality between racial/ethnic groups, age groups, and people of higher and lower educational attainment. Overturning the law would put these gains in serious jeopardy."

Abstract/Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

© 2021 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: January 2021

Read this next

Exercise-Based Cardiac Rehab Beneficial for Stroke Survivors

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 27, 2021 -- Exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation (CR) can improve cardiovascular endurance and health status among stroke survivors, according to a study...

Cardiovascular Disease Still Leading Cause of Death Worldwide

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 27, 2021 -- Heart disease remains the leading cause of death worldwide, with 18.6 million deaths attributed to cardiovascular disease (CVD) globally in 2019,...

Considerable Proportion of Cancer Deaths Attributable to Smoking

TUESDAY, Jan. 26, 2021 -- A considerable proportion of cancer deaths are attributable to cigarette smoking, with variation across regions, according to a study published online...

More News Resources

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Whatever your topic of interest, subscribe to our newsletters to get the best of Drugs.com in your inbox.