Strengthening Health

We work to strengthen public health systems and improve health care coverage, access, and affordability.

A pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinic is seen in California. (Getty/Al Seib/Los Angeles Times)

What We're Doing

Increasing vaccination rates to end the pandemic

Vaccination is key to ending the COVID-19 pandemic and avoiding preventable illness, death, and economic loss. We promote equitable vaccine policy and leveraging governmental and employers’ power to promote vaccination and pandemic recovery.

 

Strengthening public health infrastructure

The COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed inequities and existing weaknesses in the United States’ public health infrastructure. We’re focused on improving health equity by investing in public health, addressing social and economic factors that affect health, and preparing for future health threats.

 

Improving access to affordable health coverage

We’re dedicated to bolstering affordable, high-quality health coverage options. By building on the Affordable Care Act, closing the Medicaid coverage gap, and innovating progressive solutions, we envision a world in which everyone can access care.

 

Lowering health care prices and consumer costs

Health care affordability is a top consumer concern, and prices for health care and prescription drugs are inaccessibly high for many. One of our key priorities is improving America’s health by lowering costs to ensure all people can afford to manage their health.

 

Center for American Progress

Turning Bold Ideas Into Effective Policies

Celebrate with us

By the Numbers

1.9

Life expectancy fell by 1.9 years in the pandemic—8.5 times more than peer countries.

Woolf, “Effect of the covid-19 pandemic in 2020 on life expectancy across populations” (2021).

2x

The U.S. spends 2 times more as peer countries on health, with 8% lower life expectancy.

CAP, “The Declining Health of Americans” (2021).

7,000

Closing the Medicaid coverage gap would save 7,000 lives per year.

CAP, “Closing the Medicaid Coverage Gap Would Save 7,000 Lives Each Year” (2021).

2.8x

COVID hospitalized Black and Hispanic people at a rate 2.8 times higher than white people.

CDC, “Risk for COVID-19 Infection, Hospitalization, and Death by Race/Ethnicity” (2021).

Recent Work

Latest

Compact View

Event Recap: State Policy Efforts To Enhance Consumer Protections in Health Care and Improve the Value of Insurance Article
End of a hospital bed seen through a door

Event Recap: State Policy Efforts To Enhance Consumer Protections in Health Care and Improve the Value of Insurance

The second session in the Center for American Progress’ state health care affordability series highlighted policies that Connecticut, Tennessee, and Texas have implemented to address common barriers that undermine affordability and compromise access to care.

Natasha Murphy

Film Screening: ‘The Bitter Pill’ Past Event

Film Screening: ‘The Bitter Pill’

A documentary about the biggest civil litigation in U.S. history that took on pharmaceutical companies and their role in the opioid epidemic. The film will be followed by a discussion with the filmmakers.

Event Recap: Affordability Beyond Premiums Article
Registered nurses sit at their desks while working at a medical center.

Event Recap: Affordability Beyond Premiums

The first session in the Center for American Progress’ state health care affordability series highlighted policies in New Mexico, California, and New Jersey to lower out-of-pocket costs for marketplace enrollees.

Natasha Murphy

2024 Affordable Care Act Marketplace Plan Selections by Congressional District Interactive
A staff nurse checks a patient at a hospital.

2024 Affordable Care Act Marketplace Plan Selections by Congressional District

A new CAP interactive explores the proportion of nonelderly people who made federally facilitated marketplace plan selections during the 2024 open enrollment period by congressional district. Without congressional action, consumers will lose the enhanced financial assistance that supported record levels of enrollment.

Nicole Rapfogel

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