Racial and Ethnic Disparities in U.S. Health Care Essay

Racial and Ethnic Disparities in U.S. Health Care Essay

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There continues to be racial and ethnic disparities in the United States, and these problems need to be addressed since the rate of racial/ethnic populations in the country are steadily rising. According to the 2001 United States Census, “racial/ethnic minority populations are growing at such a fast rate that by 2050 more than 50% of the population will belong to a minority group” (Weech-Maldonado, Al-Amin, Nishimi, Salam, 2011). Race and ethnicity should not determine the levels of health care people receive. Certain races have genetic predispositions for certain diseases and that fact cannot be changed. However, the differences among race for things such as treatment, access to health care, and availability of medicine should not be as great as they are. One of the most important disparities that exists between racial/ethnic groups is access to care, specifically how access to care is limited due to treatment not being tailored to the needs of different minorities.
A key factor affecting access to care is economic inequality. Many racial/ethnic groups are considered to be of low socioeconomic status in the United States. When one has to worry about food and housing, health is not considered a priority. Lack of health insurance is a huge problem that many people face. The inequalities in income means less money can be put towards doctor’s visits and medications. Research done by Shi, LeBrun, Zhu, and Tsai (2011) shows that while some minorities ordered less screening tests than others, the uninsured continued to be at a disadvantage for cervical, breast, and colorectal cancer screening. In the United States, one of every three African American children and one of every four Latino children live in poverty—two times higher than...


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...erty: Why racial and ethnic disparities persist. (Policy brief 16). Retrieved from http://www.npc.umich.edu/publications/policy_briefs/brief16/PolicyBrief16.pdf

Richards, C., Kerker, B., Thorpe, L., Olson, C., Krauskopf, M., Silver, L., . . . Winawer, S. (2011).
Increased screening colonoscopy rates and reduced racial disparities in the New York citywide campaign: An urban model. American Journal of Gastroenterology, 106(11), 1880-6.

Shi, L., Lebrun, L., Zhu, J., & Tsai, J. (2011).
Cancer screening among racial/ethnic and insurance groups in the United States: A comparison of disparities in 2000 and 2008. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 22(3), 945-61.

Weech-Maldonado, R., Al-Amin, M., Nishimi, R., & Salam, F. (2011).
Enhancing the cultural competency of health-care organizations. Advances in Health Care Management, (10), 43-67.

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