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BMC Public Health

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Affordable care act, African Americans, Health care disparities, Health insurance


Objectives: To investigate the impact of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Medicaid expansion on African Americanwhite disparities in health coverage, access to healthcare, receipt of treatment, and health outcomes. Design: A search of research reports, following the PRISMA-ScR guidelines, identified twenty-six national studies investigating changes in health care disparities between African American and white non-disabled, non-elderly adults before and after ACA Medicaid expansion, comparing states that did and did not expand Medicaid. Analysis examined research design and findings. Results: Whether Medicaid eligibility expansion reduced African American-white health coverage disparities remains an open question: Absolute disparities in coverage appear to have declined in expansion states, although exceptions have been reported. African American disparities in health access, treatment, or health outcomes showed little evidence of change for the general population. Conclusions: Future research addressing key weaknesses in existing research may help to uncover sources of continuing disparities and clarify the impact of future Medicaid expansion on African American health care disparities.


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