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Big gap exists on health care spending between Latinos and whites, study finds
Date:7/27/2011

gration status. Combined, their data examined 76,000 non-Latino whites and 31,500 Latino adults.

Because foreign-born U.S. residents are less likely to spend on health care, Bustamante said, the disparity could be related to the high share of foreign-born individuals among Latinos, compared with other racial and ethnic groups. Lower spending from this population, he said, could also be related to limited eligibility for public plan coverage, a lack of familiarity with the U.S. health care system, a greater reliance on going back across the border for health services, or other factors.

"Our study shows that differences are largely explained by related factors with this population, such as a relatively young age, low income, fewer years of schooling, good health status and lower health care access and utilization," Bustamante said.

The findings, he said, highlight the importance of having health insurance coverage and a usual source of care to help reduce the inequalities between Latinos and whites.

But the good news, Bustamante said, is that over 10 years, disparities between foreign-born Latinos and native-born Latinos become less pronounced. This could be interpreted as evidence of intergenerational improvement and of a gradual assimilation of the Latino population in the United States, he said.


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Contact: Sarah Anderson
sanderson@ph.ucla.edu
310-267-0440
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

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