The move toward broadening access to healthcare will continue, but disparities in quality and consistency of access will persist.
There is social and political will in large sectors of the U.S. population for healthcare to be extended to all U.S. citizens.
The role of non-doctors (nurse practitioners, physician assistants) in healthcare is becoming more important, and has the potential to reduce some healthcare costs.
Online resources as well as self-health technologies can democratize healthcare for those who may not be able to afford full check-ups.
What It Means for HIV
While its status continues to evolve, the Affordable Care Act removes some cost barriers to healthcare access and ensures that no one will be denied insurance because of a pre-existing health condition, including HIV/AIDS. However, people living with and at risk for HIV still face other barriers including stigma and discrimination.
Based on these data, the HIV: The Long View Coalition believes HIV will be impacted in the following ways in the next 20 years:
More widespread HIV testing will improve health outcomes and lead to better prevention and control of the HIV epidemic.
People living with HIV will have better access to specialized HIV care.
The HIV healthcare provider workforce will expand beyond specialists to accommodate the growing number of people living with HIV.
The aging population of people with HIV will need more care for non HIV-related chronic conditions.
More Americans are covered by health insurance today than ever before. Support for equal access to medical care is high among the American public, and the public is also somewhat optimistic that the quality of medical care will continue to improve.
However, with or without health insurance, almost nine in 10 Americans say healthcare is too expensive. Patients are bearing increasing financial responsibility for their healthcare in the form of higher deductibles and co-pays.
Ensuring access for everyone will continue to be a challenge, but even more so for those at lower income levels. Those with lower income have lower expectations that quality of healthcare will improve for them. But these impoverished populations are the people the healthcare system needs to reach most.
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