Abstract and Keywords
This chapter examines the issue of access to healthcare, with particular emphasis on the five dimensions of the model proposed by Roy Penchansky and J. William Thomas: availability, accessibility, accommodation, affordability, and acceptability. It also discusses the constitutional powers of states and the federal government with respect to health, along with relevant health law. It outlines the three categories of law governing access to physicians and hospitals: direct obligations of physicians and hospitals to provide free care to the indigent; federal programs to provide health insurance or health services to vulnerable populations; and laws that affect the delivery of care based on the patient’s physical characteristics and immigration status. The chapter concludes by considering the United States’s failure to realize the human rights aspect of health in international treaties and suggesting that the country’s efforts when it comes to access to physicians and hospitals leave much to be desired.
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