Why Health Care Reform Matters

Updated:Oct 6,2016

The burden of heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases (CVD) can be particularly problematic for those without health insurance or for those with inadequate coverage. The uninsured with CVD experience higher mortality rates and poorer blood pressure control. People who lack health insurance experience up to a 56 percent higher risk of death from stroke than those who are insured. The uninsured and underinsured are also less likely to take needed medications and to forego preventive care.

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association has long recognized that the current crisis in our health care system threatens our mission of building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. The association believes that the new health reform law, the Affordable Care Act, makes a number of important improvements to the current health care system that we can build on in the years to come.

An AHA survey of CVD patients from January 2010 further demonstrates the challenges that many with heart disease or stroke face. More specifically the survey found that more than half of the patients surveyed had difficulties paying for medical care, even though most had insurance, and 46% of those who had difficulty paying their medical expenses said they had delayed getting needed care. See more results from this survey below.

Over the past couple years, CVD patients reported difficulty paying for…

What financial problems have CVD patients faced as a result of health care costs?

In the past 24 months, 29% of CVD patients and 40% of stroke patients reported problems with their health insurance.

For more information about the American Heart Association patient survey, please access the following materials: