The American health care system is a unique mix of public and private programs that critics argue has produced a two-tier system - one for the rich and the other for the poor - that delivers dramatically unequal care and leaves millions of Americans seriously underinsured or with no coverage at all. This book examines the root causes of the inequalities of the American health care system and discusses various policy alternatives. It systematically documents the demands on and the performance of our health care system for different population groups as defined on the basis of gender (women), age (children), race and ethnicity (African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans), and residence in high poverty areas (rural and inner city locales).For each population, the book documents: historical and demographic profile, data on health status, aspects of inequality including access; quality of care; and endemic, cultural, and lifestyle issues affecting health; policies, laws, and programs relevant to health care; and, indicators of improvement or negative trends.
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