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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Moving toward health equity

Disparities among communities of color persist in our nation. People of color are more likely than whites to lack health insurance, to receive lower-quality care, and to experience worse health outcomes.

The health reform law provides a foundation for addressing health inequities in America. Moving toward Health Equity: Health Reform Creates a Foundation for Eliminating Disparities, a new brief from the Minority Health Initiatives Department at Families USA, looks at various provisions – both those that will affect everyone but have a disproportionate impact on communities of color as well as those that are designed specifically to eliminate health disparities.

The brief summarizes provisions that will expand access to care through Medicaid and community health centers, and that address health disparities by promoting language access, increasing workforce diversity, and reauthorizing the Indian Health Care Improvement Act.

Our efforts for addressing disparities, however, are not complete. It will continue to be important to monitor and further address access to quality care and services for communities of color. Most importantly, we must continue to monitor how provisions are being implemented, and to provide public comment on federal regulations when possible.