Federal Efforts Build Momentum To Address Health Inequities

Brian D. Smedley

First published 5/2/11 on Kaiser Health News

During the month of April — Minority Health Month — the Obama administration took significant steps to build momentum for efforts to eliminate racial and ethnic health inequities. But with this momentum the stakes have become higher than ever, just as fiscal and political pressures mount that could undermine progress.

Health inequities span from the cradle to the grave, in the form of higher rates of infant mortality, chronic disease, disability and premature death among many racial and ethnic minority groups. A large volume of research demonstrates that these inequities persist even after socioeconomic factors — such as income and education levels — are considered. For example, African American mothers with a college degree experience infant mortality at rates higher than white mothers who have less than a high school education.

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Health Reform’s Next Act: A Focus On Achieving Health Equity

Brian Smedley

FirstĀ published 3/21/11 on Kaiser Health News

When President Barack Obama met with the nation’s governors last month and offered to allow states to establish their own plans to reform health care in place of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, he insisted that states meet or exceed the same goals established in the health overhaul to expand insurance coverage, improve the quality of care and contain rapidly escalating healthcare costs.

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