In this week’s special issue of JAMA, President Barack Obama declared the Affordable Care Act to be a success, highlighting “significant progress toward solving long-standing challenges facing the US health care system…”

But what does high-quality research by the health services research community show? Is the President’s assessment correct?

HSR, an official journal of AcademyHealth, just published the first systematic review that comprehensively summarizes early research findings on the impact of the Affordable Care Act on health insurance coverage in the United States. In a peer-reviewed publication available free online, authors Michael French and colleagues conclude that “research shows that the ACA has substantially decreased the number of uninsured individuals through the dependent coverage provision, Medicaid expansion, health insurance exchanges, availability of subsidies, and other policy changes. Affordability of health insurance continues to be a concern for many people and disparities persist… (but) Early evidence also indicates improvements in access to and affordability of health care.” You can read more here.


This post was provided by Patrick S. Romano, MD MPH, Co-Editor in Chief, Health Services Research (HSR), an official journal of AcademyHealth. Dr. Romano is Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics, UC Davis Division of General Medicine