New Report Finds Health Care Disparities; Reform Legislation Should Expand Access to Quality Health Care
June 17, 2009 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
Lack of Health Insurance: More than one in three Hispanics and American Indians - and just under one in five African Americans - are uninsured. In comparison, only about one in eight Whites lacks health insurance.
As Congress considers legislation to expand access to health care, a new report from the Department of Health and Human Services on health care disparities between demographic groups shows that to reduce the disparities, Congress must make high-quality health care more affordable and invest in preventive care.
The report finds that minorities suffer from diseases and illnesses, like obesity, cancer, diabetes, and HIV/AIDS at higher rates than Whites. For instance, African-American men are 50 percent more likely than Whites to have prostate cancer and American Indians suffer from diabetes at more than twice the rate of Whites.
In addition, because minorities and low-income people are more likely to be uninsured and lack access to preventive care, they are more likely to end up in the emergency room. For instance, Low-income women are 26 percent less likely than women in the highest income bracket to receive a mammogram.