Increase Access to Care
Western New Yorkers want broader access to care for all populations, especially the underserved - health care is a basic human right.
Why it Matters
For WNY and the Nation
Western New Yorkers echo national sentiment in their demand for increased access to care - the top priority of Americans participating in a national health care conversation in 2008 was a fair health system. Indeed, access to care is a matter of life and death - the uninsured have a 25 percent higher risk of mortality than those with coverage. Gaps in access to care also reduce quality of life and increase financial burdens due to under-treated conditions and related health problems that increase the need for emergency care. Economic trends in Western New York make access a pressing issue due to high rates of poverty, especially in urban and rural areas. Unemployment rates are at a 20-year high, which has significant implications in a society where employers are a primary source of support in accessing and paying for health insurance benefits. Moreover, the region's continued loss of manufacturing jobs, which traditionally offered rich benefits packages, are not being replaced by comparable employment. The region's fastest growing employment sector - the services sector - includes many jobs with few health benefits or none at all.