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Access to Health Care

The Issue

An estimated 7.3 million Americans with cardiovascular disease (CVD) are currently uninsured. As a result, they are far less likely to receive appropriate and timely medical care and often suffer worse medical outcomes, including higher mortality rates. 

Furthermore, rural communities face unique health challenges, including higher individual risk factors for chronic disease, social influences that impact health such as lack of access to a quality education and fewer economic opportunities, and the challenge of not having affordable health care services regionally and in the community.

The Association Advocates

To achieve the American Heart Association’s goals for equitably increasing healthy life expectancy by 2030, we must work to make health care adequate, accessible and affordable for everyone living in the United States. In February 2020, the American Heart Association updated its Health Care Reform Principles, calling for reducing disparities and eliminating inequities in the health care system, promoting diversity within the public health and health care workforce and improving the health care system’s ability to address social determinants of health. The principles also call for increasing the focus on value in health care and for making health care more affordable for individuals, employers, governments and society at large. We are working to ensure health care is adequate, accessible and affordable for everyone in America. The principles build on health care principles the American Heart Association issued in 2008 and 1993.

The American Heart and American Stroke Association supports efforts to extend health care coverage to all Americans and works to ensure timely access along the entire care continuum, including emergency care, telemedicine, and rehabilitation and recovery services.