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Problem Definition

Three broad challenges stand out in the American healthcare system as they relate to access to healthcare:

Lack of insurance: Tens of millions of Americans lack healthcare insurance or are underinsured, meaning their out-of-pocket healthcare costs or their plan deductibles took up at least 5% of their annual incomes. Lack of adequate coverage limits access to needed healthcare, as many who lack sufficient insurance will face severe financial hardship if they seek treatment for a serious illness.

Soaring costs: The US pays more per person for healthcare than other industrialized countries, but trails in most indicators of population health. Healthcare spending now accounts for 17% of our economy. Plus, rising costs crowd out other social needs and priorities.

Shortage of providers: Many patients experience difficulty finding care because of healthcare provider and facility shortages. While a factor in some urban communities, this problem is worse in rural America.

Related Problems: National Debt, Income & Wealth Inequality

Contributors: Eric Seaborg, Ciara McLarenGeorge Linzer

Review: Pending

Published: May 27, 2021

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Progress Updates

Nurses Strike for Patient Safety

2021-06-19T16:07:37-05:00June 19th, 2021|

Nurses claim that limited staffing levels during the pandemic have compromised patient safety, prompting them to strike and drawing attention to hospital systems that received stimulus funding and posted substantial profits while its staff faced hazardous workplace conditions, layoffs, and furloughs.

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