Arizona conference to focus on public health policy - Tucson News Now

Arizona conference to focus on public health policy

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Happening today, local experts are heading to Prescott to talk about the Affordable Care Act.

Under discussion will be the future of healthcare for Arizonans, with Dr. Dan Derksen focusing on public health policy.

The work Dr. Derksen is conducting looks at how to reach out to those who will soon go from uninsured to being eligible for coverage. This is what he will be talking about at the Arizona Rural Health Conference today and tomorrow.

Almost one-fifth of Arizona's total population, some 1.2 million people are uninsured. Most of those people will be able to buy a subsidized health insurance plan soon. 

The open enrollment marketplace starts on October 1, and expanded Medicaid coverage on January 1.

Researchers looked at Arizona as it expanded Medicaid coverage a decade ago; those experts found that expansion led to fewer deaths and better overall health.

Whether the same is true again depends on how many people get coverage.  The hope and goal is that after two years about 600,000 people will go from uninsured to insured.

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