Fewer people having trouble paying medical bills. Fewer people delaying treatment. Gee, think there's a connection??

I saw this story a couple of days ago, but didn't have a chance to post about it until tonight...

The number of Americans struggling to pay medical bills fell last year for the first time in nearly a decade -- the latest sign that Obamacare is making health care more affordable.

Sixty-four million people, or approximately 35 percent of the U.S. population, said they had trouble paying bills or were stuck paying off medical debt in the past year, according to a new survey by the Commonwealth Fund released on Thursday. That was down from 75 million people, or 41 percent of the population, in 2012. This marks the first time that figure has fallen since 2005, when Commonwealth started keeping track.

...and I didn't even notice the other half of the Commonwealth study until a separate story from the LA Times:

The number of Americans who put off needed medical care fell substantially last year, according to a new survey that provides one of the fullest pictures of how the federal health law may be improving not only insurance coverage but also access to healthcare.

From 2012 to 2014, the share of consumers delaying a recommended test or treatment or not filling a prescription fell by nearly a third. And the percentage who reported problems with medical bills fell by almost a quarter.

Gee, I can't imagine what might have accounted for that. Hmmm...from 2012 until 2014. I wonder what went into effect in that time period...

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Rhode Island’s biggest hospital chain is already seeing a positive financial impact from President Obama’s health law, WPRI.com has learned.

Lifespan Corp., the nonprofit owner of Rhode Island Hospital and other facilities, recently revealed that its charity care costs plummeted by more than half for the quarter that ended Sept. 30, declining from $60.7 million in 2013 to $27.3 million in 2014. Its provision for bed debts declined from $30.7 million to $28.7 million.

The decline was “due largely to the January 1, 2014, expansion of Medicaid eligibility and the growth of health insurance exchanges, both of which reduced the number of uninsured patients,” Lifespan officials wrote in a disclosure to bondholders. Both policies were enacted as part of the president’s 2010 Affordable Care Act.

The only shocking bit above is the fact that they specifically and publicly credited the ACA for the good news.