Achieving health equity is central to becoming a nation where the best health and health care are equally accessible to all.
Throughout our history, people of color have been systematically denied a fair opportunity to be as healthy and productive as possible and reach their full potential. Consequently, these communities continue to struggle with deep and persistent health inequities. In addition to facing disproportionate barriers to high-quality, affordable health care, communities of color, and other underserved communities, also face significantly higher health risks, and markedly lower opportunities to improve their health. As a result, these communities are more likely to suffer from a myriad of serious health conditions, like diabetes, asthma, and many cancers, among others. This drives higher rates of poor health status and premature death, even among infants.
The cascading effects of health and health care inequities have a devastating impact on people's lives, and on our nation's future prosperity.
Health inequities are an enormous waste of lives and of resources, and undermine communities across the country. The time to solve them is now. We are in the midst of an historic demographic shift as a nation. Today, the majority of children under the age of 10 are from communities of color. By 2020 the majority of all children will be. We are literally one generation away from having a majority “minority” workforce, yet our health care system is not evolving to meet this reality. If we don’t work right now to eliminate racial, ethnic, and other health inequities to ensure that the workforce of tomorrow is healthy and productive, our future prosperity will be at risk.
Achieving health equity is central to each of Families USA’s policy and advocacy initiatives, and the reason we created the Center on Health Equity Action for System Transformation.