A Yale University study analyzed the experience of 60 million Americans covered by traditional Medicare between 1999 and 2013, and found "jaw-dropping improvements in almost every area," the lead author says. Ann Cutting/Getty Images hide caption

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One of the first signs drivers see on the way into Unionville, Mo. is this billboard advertising cardiology at Putnam County Memorial Hospital. Offering specialty services, like cardiology and psychiatry turned the hospital around, community leaders say. Bram Sable-Smith/KBIA/Side Effects Public Media hide caption

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Nora Zamichow says if she and her husband, Mark Saylor, had known how doctors die, they might have made different treatment decisions for him toward the end of his life. Maya Sugarman/KPCC hide caption

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While governor of Texas, Rick Perry refused to accept federal funds to expand Medicaid. Rick Wilking/Reuters/Landov hide caption

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An architectural rendering of the Cleveland Clinic's planned cancer center. Courtesy of the Cleveland Clinic hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the Cleveland Clinic

Ann Allen (right) and Marie Birsic (left) take part in a demonstration to prevent the closure of Lakewood Hospital on Cleveland's West Side. Birsic says the neighborhood will "go down into a ghost town" once the hospital is turned into an outpatient center. Sarah Jane Tribble/WCPN hide caption

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Registered nurses Cassie Gregor (from left), Camellia Douglas and Mike Montalto monitor patients in intensive care units scattered around North Carolina. Kevin McCarthy/Carolinas HealthCare System hide caption

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St. Agnes Hospital in Baltimore is one of the 131 hospitals run by Ascension Health. It's a not-for-profit, Catholic health care system that treats many low-income patients. St. Agnes Hospital hide caption

itoggle caption St. Agnes Hospital

Patient perceptions have been tough to change at Rowan Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, N.C. Joanna Serah/Wikimedia hide caption

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U.S. taxpayers have poured $30 billion into funding electronic records systems in hospitals and doctors' offices since 2009. But most of those systems still can't talk to each other, which makes transfer of medical information tough. iStockphoto hide caption

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An overgrowth of Clostridium difficile bacteria can inflame the colon with a life-threatening infection. Dr. David Phillips/Getty Images/Visuals Unlimited hide caption

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