Christopher A. Hesh
University of Maryland School of Medicine c/o 2015
Co-President of UMD AMSA
Barriers to healthcare access manifest in many forms and AMSA stands at the forefront of the fight to tear down these barriers in the effort to establish healthcare as a human right. Integral to this fight for access is the engine that drives discovery of healthcare delivery methods and new treatment programs: taxpayer-funded research.
The American public spends $60 billion each year on non-defense research through government programs like the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Department of Energy (DOE).  Accessing this research can cost anywhere from $15 to $32 for a single article to multi-thousand dollar subscription fees for a single journal, forcing taxpayers to pay twice: once to fund the research and again to see the results.  This necessity of paying multiple times for access to life-saving research furthermore serves as a direct barrier to healthcare access for patients, who rely on their physicians to provide them with timely treatment programs informed by federally-funded research.
We know from the success of the NIH Public Access Policy, which requires all NIH-funded research to be open-access 12 ...