The Affordable Care Act Reduces Hypertension Treatment Disparities for Mexican-heritage Latinos
Mexican-heritage Latinos have lower prevalence of hypertension, but have worse patterns of treatment and control compared with non-Latino whites. This study examined the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance expansion on reducing disparities in treatment and medication use among Mexican-heritage Latinos with hypertension.Research Design:
Using the 2009–2014 waves of the California Health Interview Survey, we examine health care access, utilization, and medication use among Mexican-heritage Latinos and non-Latino whites with hypertension. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed to adjust for socioeconomic and demographic factors. Interactions between race/ethnicity and year variables were conducted to capture the effects of the passage of the ACA.Results:
Among those with hypertension, the full implementation of the ACA (year 2014) is associated with a greater likelihood of being insured, but the race/ethnicity interaction indicates that this gain is less substantial for Mexican-heritage Latinos. The odds of having a usual source of care other than the emergency department increased after the passage of the ACA, and interaction effects indicate that this gain was more substantial for Mexican-heritage Latinos. The odds of having any physician visit and taking blood pressure mediations decreased among non-Latino whites but increased among Mexican-heritage Latinos.Conclusions:
The implementation of the ACA in California has helped reduce some of the disparities in health care access, utilization, and medication use between non-Latino whites and Mexican-heritage Latinos with hypertension. However, sustained progress is threatened by looming repeals of ACA provisions.