Most Americans have experienced a decade-long decline in access to medical care that may continue to spiral downward if President Obama’s healthcare law is repealed by Congress or overturned by the Supreme Court, according to a study released this week.

Published in this month’s issue of Health Affairs, the study found that access to care for Americans aged 19 to 64 significantly deteriorated between 2000 and 2010 – even among patients with private health insurance. The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act targets this age group.

Researchers at the nonpartisan Urban Institute found that in 2010, adults were 66% more likely to report unmet medical needs than in 2000 and 79% more likely to have unmet dental needs. Although access was worse among the uninsured, 10.2% of Americans with private insurance reported unmet medical needs by 2010.

“If the key coverage provisions in the (law) are ruled unconstitutional or repealed, projections indicate that the numbers of uninsured people will grow,” the researchers wrote. They conclude that their findings suggest that eliminating the law or curtailing the coverage expansion could result in continued erosion of adults’ access to care.

Full study: May 2012 Health Affairs.

Physician’s Weekly wants to know
…do you agree that repealing the Affordable Care act will negatively impact access to healthcare?