It Takes A Village: The Importance of A Comprehensive Definition of Primary Healthcare Access for Just and Effective Policy
Timberline, Sage M.
Washington and Lee University, Shepherd Poverty Program
Health services accessibility
Health care reform -- Government policy
Primary health care
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (United States)
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Sage M.Timberline is a member of the Class of 2015 of Washington and Lee University.Capstone; [FULL-TEXT RESTRICTED TO WASHINGTON AND LEE UNIVERSITY LOGIN]Numerous methods of research support that access to primary healthcare in the United States is insufficient, especially for impoverished populations. However, current definitions and measurements of access used are also flawed, each failing to capture the comprehensive nature of access, and the spatial and nonspatial barriers that obstruct it. In this paper, I critique current definitions and measurements, propose a more complete definition of access, and support a more thorough measurement. I also argue that access to primary healthcare is important for justice in preserving equal opportunity for all. Lastly, I argue that the Affordable Care Act is highly unlikely to improve access comprehensively without a better definition of access, more comprehensive measures, and utilization of other resources.