Federal policies addressing healthdisparitiesFederal policies have a directeffect on health disparities. Specifically, this can be seen through thepassing of the Affordable Care Act in 2014.
Through the Affordable Care Actshealth insurance coverage expansions through Medicaid and the Marketplace,health insurance coverage has increased for individuals of low socioeconomicclass. Research has shown that health insurance coverage has a substantialeffect on whether an individual receives regular medical care and preventativecare (Artiga, Ubri & Foutz, 2017). Another way that federal policiesaddress health disparities can be see through the introduction of the U.S.Department of Health and Human Services Action Plan to Reduce Racial and EthnicHealth Disparities. The action plan promotes five major goals which range fromtransforming healthcare, advancing the health and wellbeing of all Americanpopulations, and increasing the efficiency and accountability of the U.S.Department of Health and Human Services programs (Jackson & Gracia, 2014).
State and local policies addressinghealth disparities At thestate level, Kansas is finding ways to address and reduce health disparities.An example of this can be seen through the state funded scholarship program forundergraduate students who have been accepted and or enrolled in an accreditedmedical school in pursuit of becoming a doctor of osteopathic medicine. Studentswho receive this scholarship must agree to practice medicine in a rural ormedically underserved area upon completion of their medical degree (NationalConference of State Legislatures, 2014). Through this scholarship, the state ofKansas is hoping to bring in more physicians to those areas that need them themost. Missouri isalso addressing health disparities at the state level. In fact, Missouri isamong other states who have implemented an Office of Minority Health.
TheMissouri Office of Minority Health works to eliminate disparities through the awarenessof health, strategic partnerships and community engagement (National Conferenceof State Legislatures, 2014). At thelocal level, The Wyandotte Health for All taskforce works to improve the healthWyandotte county. This is done by promoting educational programs, policies, andlocal research.
The Wyandotte Health for All taskforce also aims to limithealth disparities within the county (Connor, 2012). Latino/Hispanic Population Focus In 2015, the U.S.
Census Bureau estimatedthat 56.5 million Hispanics were living in the United States at that time. Thisethnic group represent 17.6 percent of the total United States population andis composed of any person of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, South or CentralAmerican regardless of their race (U.
S. Department of Health and Human ServicesOffice of Minority Health, 2017). This makes this ethnic group the largest andfastest growing minority population in the United States (Ramirez, Gallion, Despres & Adeigbe, 2013). WhileEnglish proficiency varies between the subgroups of the Latino/Hispanicethnicity group, reports have shown that 73 percent of Hispanics speak alanguage other than English at home (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office ofMinority Health, 2017).
Indeed, Latinos have been reported to have a lowerhealth literacy than any other racial or ethnic group in the United States(Calvo, 2016). Further, LaVeist (2005) states that 30 percent of Latinosreported that they always or usually use an interpreter when they seek medicalcare. The Latino/Hispanic ethnicity groupalso makes up the highest uninsured rates in the United States compared to all otherracial or ethnicity groups (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Officeof Minority Health, 2017). In fact, LaVeist (2005) states that approximately34.8 percent of Hispanics are uninsured.
It is theorized that this high rate ofuninsured is why Hispanic/Latinos do not have regular source of health care. It is also significant to note that25.6 percent of Hispanics work within service occupations with a medianhousehold income of $44,782 (U.S. Department of Health and Human ServicesOffice of Minority Health, 2017). This is significant as this translates into22.
6 percent of Hispanics being reported to be living within the poverty levelin 2015.Interest to author I decided to choose theHispanic/Latino population for several reasons. Among those is the fact that Imyself am part of this ethnicity group. I was born in Mexico and immigrated tothe United States with my family at the age of 6.
Many of the healthdisparities that affect this ethnicity group, I have either personallyexperienced or have family and friends that have experienced them. Toelaborate, English is my second language meaning that I experienced languagebarriers to health care within the first few years of being a resident to theU.S. To this day, I still interpret for some family members.
For a period oftime when we first immigrated, my family was uninsured and did not have a regularsource of health care, due to the fact that my parents worked in serviceoccupations that did not offer health insurance. While my family was able to overcomethe barriers to health care, I am passionate about this topic hope to find waysto reduce health disparities for Hispanic/Latino patients within my communityas a healthcare administrator.Actionplan to address health disparities Mission/Vision