This article extends previous comparisons of access to health care for older persons in England and the United States by comparing rates of avoidable hospital conditions as a proxy for primary care access and by examining the distribution of care within these older populations. Drawing on hospital data from the two countries, we find that older persons in the United States, particularly those over the age of seventy-five, receive far more revascularizations than do older persons in England. Differences in the use of lower-joint replacement are not as great, but we are unable to assess differences in the need for these procedures. Although older persons have greater access to specialty care in the United States, there appears to be much better access to primary care in England. We are unable to draw comparisons on the extent of inequalities in access to health care, although in the United States there is evidence of inequalities in access by race, and in England we confirm earlier studies that find inequalities by level of deprivation. These findings are discussed in the context of the political debates over access to care and rationing in the two countries.

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