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Health Care Reform:

Health Insurance & Affordable Care Act

Insurance Coverage Expands, but Gaps Remain

Federal reports capture nation's pre-Obamacare health status and health-care coverage

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"This is a near doubling in a period of less than 10 years," Hempstead noted. "This is clearly becoming the new norm, and the marketplace plans will only increase the rapidity of this trend," she added.

Among other findings in the reports:

  • Asthma prevalence among people of all ages dropped to 7.4 percent in 2013 from 8.6 percent in 2010 and 2011.
  • Twenty-nine percent of adults aged 20 and older were obese in 2013, versus 19.4 percent in 1997.
  • Among adults 18 and older, 9.3 percent had been diagnosed with diabetes, compared with 9.1 percent in 2012 and 5.1 percent in 1997.

Will the Affordable Care Act address these disparities?

"What public health researchers are hoping to see . . . is how this humongous growth in health insurance translated not only to access to care, but better health outcomes," Lavarreda said.

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