Navigation Links
Health Reform is About You and Me, Not One or the Other
Date:12/7/2009

WASHINGTON, Dec. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is an op-ed written by Fredette West, Director, African American Health Alliance:


In all of the talk about how can the nation can pay for health reform; and in all the talk about where can we find savings; and in all the talk about finding "off-sets" -- media, legislators, and analysts, I point your attention to study findings by researchers, including recent studies from Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland. A major portion of the answer to questions about where can money be found is "eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities." By doing so, we could save over $57 billion each year from direct healthcare costs.

To achieve these record savings means putting an end to substandard healthcare for racial and ethnic minorities. Communities of color deal with substandard healthcare that lacks quality, accessibility, and appropriateness. Inadequate care leads to health disparities that affect individuals whether they are insured, underinsured, or uninsured; and regardless of their educational attainment or socioeconomic status.

These health disparities result in prolonged illnesses, needless disabilities, and premature deaths for thousands of American citizens. This exacts a devastating human and economic toll. It doesn't have to be this way.

While some of the provisions in the bill appear to address the issue of health disparities, in its current form the bill will not eliminate health disparities to the extent we need and that it is capable of without a targeted, deliberate strategy to eliminate health disparities. With respect to communities of color whether insured, underinsured, or uninsured, to maximize the health improvement benefits from the health reform bill requires the inclusion of provisions in the bill for the development and implementation of a National Strategy to End Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. And, clearly, to achieve the $57 billion annually from direct excess medical care requires the inclusion of provisions for National Strategy to End Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities in the health reform bill.


What we need are provisions in the bill that would support developing and implementing a national strategy to eliminate these disparities. To do this would require adding about two additional pages to a bill that is already over 2,000 pages long. The savings--in dollars, suffering, and lives--would be well worth the addition. And, we need to ensure that communities of color are participating in implementing health reform and that they are members of the monitoring and decision-making bodies. We need to strengthen and protect provisions pertaining to cultural competency, data, workforce diversity, prevention and wellness.


By adding provisions to address these issues, we can save $57 billion annually and more than $570 billion over 10 years, by eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities. Doing so would ease the country's economic burden, lower the cost of health care, and help pay for health reform. These savings could be invested in growing small businesses, and generating jobs in transportation, construction, healthcare, and technology. We could use those savings to sustain job growth in ways that will rebuild the economy for the long-term and reduce the deficit.

Congress must pay attention to this important issue. Legislators must include provisions in the healthcare reform bill that will support developing and implementing a National Strategy to End Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. That strategy must be developed jointly, in partnership with communities, government, business, and industry. By now this must be perfectly clear that one size does not fit all and needs even vary by District and by State requiring that certainly direct community input must be used to develop, implement, monitor and evaluate the national strategy.


Is this worth the effort? Absolutely! The savings to be gained by eliminating health disparities are more than seven times greater than those to be generated by the pharmaceutical industry, and more than three times greater than those to be generated by hospitals in health reform. The Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities Coalition Chaired by the African American Health Alliance, continues to bring this important requirement for cost effective health reform to the attention of the Congress and the Administration. To date, pending legislation still does not include provisions for this important strategy--despite the fact that effective and efficient health reform must address health disparities in a comprehensive way.

Including these legislative provisions in the bill is not just good health sense--it's good business sense and good economic sense.

Without a national plan to end racial and ethnic health disparities, it will be impossible to reduce healthcare costs, provide access to quality healthcare for all, and guarantee this and future generations that our nation will remain a global leader. Congress must not overlook or ignore this opportunity to reduce the deficit, save lives, and improve quality of life by including legislative provisions for a National Strategy to End Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities in the final health reform bill.

SOURCE African American Health Alliance


'/>"/>
SOURCE African American Health Alliance
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Workforce Alliance Earns Grant to Train Health Care Workers
2. U.S. Bishops Urge Senators to Support Nelson-Hatch-Casey Amendment on Health Care Reform; Urge Constituents to Back it
3. College football linemen take one for the team in terms of health
4. Senate Opponents Delivering Chicken Little Mistruths Crafted to Sow Fear on Health Reform, says Consumer Watchdog
5. Quantros(TM) Unveils Clinical Cafe, Social Networking Website for Healthcare Professionals Focused on Safety, Quality and Compliance
6. Kroll Fraud Solutions to Host Webinar for Healthcare Organizations on Achieving HITECH Compliance
7. Prescient Medical, Inc. CEO Patricia Scheller to Speak at The Value of Innovation in Health Care, a Galen Institute Conference
8. The Role of Mindfulness Meditation in Health Care Reform
9. EBSCO Publishing and Zynx Health Expand Partnership for Integrated Access to Evidence-Based Content
10. AVIVA's Private Health Insurance Products Solutions Go International
11. Healthcare Trust of America, Inc. Executes Agreement to Acquire a 92,500 Square Foot Medical Office Portfolio Located in Texas and Indiana
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/16/2017)... , ... January 16, 2017 , ... Gym Source, America’s ... a new showroom in East Hanover, New Jersey. , “We are elated to be ... new innovative in-store concept is designed to give clients a seamless and motivating shopping ...
(Date:1/16/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... January 16, 2017 , ... ... office , Antoine Dental Center, is currently offering complimentary consultations and financing for ... their teeth examined for bite irregularities and learn about their orthodontic options. Walk-in, ...
(Date:1/16/2017)... ... January 16, 2017 , ... Atlanta-based incentive company ... in the wheelchair accessibility industry, BraunAbility . Incentive Solutions will provide BraunAbility ... accessible vehicles. With this new incentive plan, BraunAbility plans to continue their tradition ...
(Date:1/16/2017)... ... January 16, 2017 , ... In ... education and high-level training standards to an international multidisciplinary group of healthcare treatment ... As a way to further its mission at the grassroots level, iaedp launched ...
(Date:1/16/2017)... ... January 16, 2017 , ... NexTec Group has been ... of 100 organizations honored for their accomplishments in the field of midmarket financial software. ... leadership and recognition, and innovation. Selection is not based on revenue and those firms ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/17/2017)... , January 17, 2017 - First ... MENA healthcare market expected to grow by a CAGR of ... Holding, the Qatari holding company which operates globally across a number ... achieved a number of notable successes and is well-positioned for further ... ...
(Date:1/16/2017)... -- Summary GlobalData,s new report, "North ... market data on the North America Bone Densitometers market. ... volume (in units) and average prices (USD) within market ... Ultrasound (QUS). The report also provides company shares ... segements, and global corporate-level profiles of the key market ...
(Date:1/16/2017)... Derek H. Potts , founder and ... appointed Liaison Counsel in California,s ... In this role, Potts was assigned to serve as ... the Court and Co Lead Plaintiff,s Counsel. Co-Counsel includes ... Fairchild & Wade and Ruth Rizkalla ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: