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Access to Health Care

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Access to Health Care
Access to health care refers to the individual’s ability to obtain and use needed services (Ellis & Hartley, 2008). Access to health care affects a multitude of people. Uninsured, underinsured, elderly, lower socioeconomic class, minorities, and people that live in remote areas are at the highest risk for lack of access to health care. There are also economical and political roles that complicate access to health care. Access to health care is a multi-faceted concept involving geographic, economics, or sociocultural issues. With my extensive research on access to health care, I hope to provide influences regarding; who is affected by lack of access, geographic, economic, sociocultural access, and political, legal and ethical implications.

Economical and political access to health care is in huge debate currently, from health care reform, Medicare, and Medicaid. Economical and political access affects most of the population. Economic access is often dependent on having a health plan or being eligible for one of the government programs (Ellis & Hartley, 2008). The U.S Census Bureau estimates that nearly 50.7 million Americans do not currently have health insurance (p. 24). Ever since its inception, access to health care has been a heavily debated topic both on a federal and state level. The argument has been made for the implementation of health care reform due to the increasing number of uninsured and underinsured American citizens. The World Health Organization (2006) assessed that, “the highest standard of health should be within reach to all, without distinction of race, religion, political belief, and economic or social condition” (para. 1). Ellis and Hartley (2008) point out, private insurance companies raise deductibles and co-payments in attempt to get patients to use services wisely. This sounds great in theory; however, lower income families may delay or avoid timely care. Uninsured and underinsured...

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