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Racial Disparities in US Healthcare

The Commonwealth Fund, A Private Foundation Working Toward a High Performance Health Care System, has published a workbook - a resource to help policymakers understand the racial and ethnic disparities in our health care system. The hope is that dissecting the problem will obviate solutions. Here are some of the findings:

Current ethnic mix of the US population:
        • 67% non-Hispanic white
          • 8.6% of families have incomes below the Federal Poverty Level(FPL)
          • 89% are high school graduates. 30% are college graduates
          • 13% under age 65 are uninsured
        • 14% Hispanic
          • 22% of families have incomes below the (FPL)
          • 57% are high school graduates. 11% are college graduates
          • 35% under age 65 are uninsured
        • 12% black
          • 25% of of families have incomes below the (FPL)
          • 80% are high school graduates. 17% are college graduates
          • 17% under age 65 are uninsured
        • 4% Asian
          • 9.8% of families have incomes below the (FPL)
          • 88% are high school graduates. 50% are college graduates
          • 10% under age 65 are uninsured
        • 1% Native American
          • more information not available
Other findings of note:

      • States with the highest population of non-Hispanic whites have the highest Medicare quality rankings
      • Blacks suffer the highest rate of post-operative complications compared to other ethnic groups
      • Black youths age 5 - 18 years of age are 2 x as likely to be restrained upon admission to a psychiatric facility as white youths
      • Blacks with heart attacks endure longer door-to-balloon times than any other ethnic group -
We may lead the world in health care spending but that has not translated into leading the world in health care outcomes. Correcting disparities in care through improving access to care and responsiveness to ethnic minorities will help close that gap.

Thank you Voice of Eye for use of photo The Pulse of America.
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