Blog: National Partnership for Action
Posted on 1/17/2012 by Dr. J. Nadine Gracia, MD, MSCE
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said : "Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane." Dr. King worked tirelessly to create a just and equitable nation. And today, as we honor his legacy, we reflect on our own response to his call for justice.
Despite the progress we have made, we know that underserved communities may not have equal access to health care - or similar health care outcomes. Low-income Americans, racial and ethnic minorities, and other underserved populations often have higher rates of disease, fewer treatment options, and reduced access to care and coverage.
Here at the Department of Health and Human Services, we are constantly working towards a healthier America: committed to ensuring that all Americans achieve health equity by eliminating disparities and doing what we can to improve the health of all communities.
The Affordable Care Act will help reduce health disparities by expanding health coverage to 34 million Americans, preventing the worst insurance company abuses, and bringing new funding to community health centers, an important safety net for vulnerable populations.
Together, the HHS Strategic Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities and the Affordable Care Act will guide us in our efforts to improve access to quality care and reduce health disparities. We can and will do more to ensure justice in healthcare and improve the lives of millions of Americans.
Posted in: Health Minority Populations Health Disparities Rights | Comments | Add a Comment | Comment Policy | Permalink
Posted on 6/29/2011 by Garth N. Graham M.D., M.P.H
The Obama Administration is committed to promoting the health and well-being of all Americans, yet when we don’t have accurate information about who we serve, it is difficult to meet the unique needs of diverse communities. Many racial and ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities, and other underserved populations face unique health challenges, have reduced access to health care and insurance, and often pay the price with poorer health throughout their lives. Over the past decade, little progress has been made in reducing these disparities. According to the Institute of Medicine, inadequate data on race, ethnicity, and language lowers the likelihood of effective actions to address health disparities.
But, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, section 4302 invests in the implementation of a new health data collection and analysis strategy. It requires all national federal data collection efforts to collect data on:
HHS also announced a new plan to collect data related to health of LGBT populations. We will integrate questions on sexual orientation into national data collection efforts by 2013 and begin the process to collect information on gender identity. This is a critical step toward development of a government-wide standard for LGBT data collection. By establishing consistent methods for collecting and reporting health data, we will be able to better understand the causes of health problems in underserved populations.
HHS continues to make significant progress toward improving the health of underserved populations. By collecting relevant data in a standardized format, we will be able to continue reducing the health disparities in many underserved communities.
The public may submit comments for the draft minority data collection standards at www.regulations.gov under docket number HHS-OMH-2011-0013. Public comments will be accepted until August 1.
Information is also available here.
Posted in: Health Disparities Health Conditions Rights Protections & Benefits Prevention | Comments | Add a Comment | Comment Policy | Permalink
About the Blog
The NPA works to achieve health equity -- the highest level of health for all people. This blog is a venue for professionals from all fields and sectors to share their thoughts on pressing issues, news and events pertaining to health equity. Follow and participate in this candid discussion.
Recent Blog Posts
→ Changing the Prognosis for Sickle Cell Disease through the Affordable Care Act
→ Winning the battle against health disparities through new technology
→ Improving Data Collection on Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Health
→ 2013 Report to Congress on Minority Health Activities
→ The Celebration Continues: Three Kings Day and the Health Insurance Marketplace