Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Health Disparities Support Need for Broader Reform

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Health Disparities Support Need for Broader Reform

Article excerpt

Racial and ethnic minorities have higher rates of disease and reduced access to health care compared with the general population, a new report from the Department of Health and Human Services shows.

African Americans, for example, suffer from chronic diseases such as diabetes at nearly twice the rate of whites. About 15% of African Americans, 14% of Hispanics, and 18% of American Indians have type 2 diabetes, compared with 8% of whites, according to the report.

Racial and ethnic minorities, and low-income individuals also have reduced access to health care. For example, the report found that Hispanics are only half as likely as whites to have a usual source of medical care. Racial and ethnic minorities were also less likely to lack health insurance.

These disparities highlight the need for larger health reform that invests in prevention and wellness and ensures access to affordable health care, the report concluded. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius repeated that message during a roundtable discussion at the White House in June.

"Certainly, the kind of disparities we've seen too often in the health care system are disproportionately represented by low-income Americans and minority Americans," she said. …

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