WNPR

Overcoming Barriers to Health Care Access

Oct 20, 2015

Access to health care has improved significantly since Obamacare, with big gains for previously uninsured minorities who were unable to gain access before the law took effect. But insurance isn’t the only barrier to overcome. Entrenched cultural beliefs and the way we deliver care can also limit access.

Connecticut has one of the biggest educational gaps in the country. There are a lot of reasons for the gap -- but until recently, few have focused on good health as the key to closing it.

We also tend to treat our mental health care as separate from our physical health. While we may not hesitate to call a doctor for a suspicious lump or a chest pain, we’re more reluctant to seek help for ailments like depression. But depression can make us sick.

And hospice is becoming a desirable option for terminally ill people who wish to savor their last days at home with loved ones instead of in hospitals going through painful medical interventions that don’t buy them much time. Yet black Americans choose hospice care at significantly lower rates than white Americans.

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John Dankosky and Chion Wolf contributed to this show.