Medicaid Expansion Boosted Cancer Screenings, Study Says

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – A new study says colon cancer screenings for Medicaid patients in Kentucky have increased 230% since the state expanded its Medicaid program under former President Barack Obama’s signature health care law.

A study by the University of Kentucky published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons found while the incidence of colon cancer in Kentucky Medicaid patients increased after the expansion, more of them survived. That was especially true in eastern Kentucky, where Medicaid coverage of Appalachian patients increased by 199%.

Kentucky Medicaid Commissioner Carol Steckel said the study does not show the Affordable Care Act caused those benefits.

The study comes at a time of uncertainty for Kentucky’s Medicaid program. Republican Gov. Matt Bevin has been trying to make changes, but a federal judge has blocked him.