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Access to Care

Access to Care

Building healthier lives depends on access to quality health care for all Americans, regardless of gender, race, age, or ethnicity.

Ensuring all Americans have access to affordable, quality health care, regardless of race, gender, age, or ethnicity, in order to prevent and treat cardiovascular diseases is essential to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s mission. This issue is embedded throughout all of our policy work – and we are committed to confronting the health inequities and disparities that exist in our country. Because access to quality care is critical to living healthy lives, we support:

Patient Protections in the Health Care System

We support meaningful health reform that helps ensure that families have access to, and can afford, the quality coverage they need. The health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act, puts a number of critical patient protections into place, including prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions. But the work is not done. The AHA/ASA will continue to support the implementation of the law and efforts to build on the improvements it has made in the years to come.

 AHA/ASA is also working to preserve and protect patients’ access to affordable coverage through Medicare and Medicaid by opposing policies that would significantly scale back eligibility, cut benefits, or increase costs.

Addressing the Needs of Children & Adults with Congenital Heart Defects

Congenital heart defects are the most common birth defect in the United States, and the number one killer of infants. We promote policies that help children and adults with these heart defects live longer, healthier lives, including pulse oximetry screening of all newborns to detect life-threatening defects, increased resources for research, more availability for prenatal care, and patient protections to ensure these survivors are able to get health care coverage. 

Bridging the Gap on Health Equity

Cardiovascular disease exacts a disproportionate toll on many racial and ethnic groups -- and this problem is worsened by additional barriers to diagnosis and quality care that some minority populations confront. The AHA/ASA supports meaningful legislation to help eradicate health disparities among populations and improved reporting of health care data by sex, race and ethnicity.

Closing the Gender Gap

Every minute in the United States, someone's wife, mother, daughter or sister dies from heart disease, stroke or other form of cardiovascular disease, and although heart disease death rates among men have declined steadily over the last 25 years, rates among women have fallen significantly less. The AHA/ASA supports legislation to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart disease and stroke in women.

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