It’s an 8-year-old federal law, but the Affordable Care Act remains a big point of contention in Arizona’s tight U.S. Senate race between Democrat Kyrsten Sinema and Republican Martha McSally.
One thing is certain — the health-care landscape in Arizona is far different now than in 2013, before most provisions of the ACA took effect. Back then, the rate of uninsured people in Arizona was about 19 percent, which was one of the highest levels in the country. The uninsured rate has since been almost halved to 10 percent, says health-policy expert Dr. Daniel Derksen of University of Arizona Health Sciences.
The percentage of uncompensated care at Arizona hospitals is down post-ACA, and hospital operating margins are up, data from the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association shows.
The improved bottom line for hospitals is evident in a local health-care economy that has both new construction projects and health-care-sector job growth.
Voters are concerned about spiraling drug costs, losing coverage and potential cuts to Medicaid and Medicare, among other health-care issues, Derksen said. That’s why they want answers, not attacks, he said.
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