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. 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.
Our federal advocacy priorities for access to care are:
- Implement health reform, specifically improving affordable access to insurance coverage and care, and preserving clinical and community-based prevention benefits.
- Oppose policies that would significantly scale back eligibility, cut benefits, or increase costs under the Medicare and Medicaid.
- Support funding for HRSA’s Rural and Community Access to Emergency Devices program.
- Expand access to automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and CPR training for high school students, lay rescuers, and professional responders, and increase public knowledge of these lifesaving approaches.
- Support a robust and evidence-based emergency medical system through increased funding for the National Emergency Medical Services Information System (NEMSIS) and other EMS programs.