Dr. Mitch Katz rides his bike to work, defying the commuting norm in Los Angeles. Michael Wilson/L.A.County Health Services Dept. hide caption

itoggle caption Michael Wilson/L.A.County Health Services Dept.

A patient is treated at the Nord Hospital in Marseille, France, in February. European countries have also been engaged in intense debates on the future of their health care systems, where universal coverage is the norm. Anne-Chrisine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Anne-Chrisine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images

Jackson Memorial Hospital is preparing for more Medicaid patients by renovating rooms. Jackson is the area's safety net hospital, which means it doesn't receive reimbursement for quite a bit of the care it gives. Courtesy of Jackson Health System hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Jackson Health System

Surgical robots like this one are wildly expensive. Before the economic troubles began, investment in such high-tech medical devices was plentiful. Now, hospitals are looking for comparatively simple solutions to cut costs: streamline medical billing and even investing in $1 catheters that can save upwards of $50,000. Frank Perry/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Frank Perry/AFP/Getty Images

Inattention to catheters used often in ICUs can lead to serious infections. iStockphoto.com hide caption

itoggle caption iStockphoto.com

Dr. Dan Shuman (right), who was recruited to the Ashland Health Clinic as part of its mission-focused medicine program, consults with a patient about smoking cessation. Peggy Lowe/Harvest Public Media hide caption

itoggle caption Peggy Lowe/Harvest Public Media