Hypertension and Healthy People 2020: The Role of Health Insurance Expansion
Hypertension remains one of the most prevalent and treatable risk factors for cardiovascular disease and is associated with an enormous public health burden in terms of morbidity, mortality, and health care spending.1 Both clinical and policy interventions have important roles to play in primary prevention, prompt diagnosis, and appropriate treatment. However, while the tools at clinicians' disposal for managing hypertension have proliferated over the past decades, policymakers continue to struggle with a refractory set of social and economic determinants of health in this area. With nearly 50 million Americans lacking any health insurance,2 and millions more underinsured and exposed to high out-of-pocket costs,3 financial barriers play an important role in preventing the appropriate management of chronic diseases such as hypertension - particularly in lower-income populations. The year 2014, with the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), brings with it a dramatic change to the set of policies in place to help tackle these challenges.
- Received September 16, 2014.
- Accepted September 17, 2014.