Health Inequalities for African Americans

Health Inequalities for African Americans

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Unequal access to health care by people of different races has been a persistent problem in the U.S. The inequality leads to gaps in health outcomes, with the Africa Americans being the most marginalized. However, it is vital to recognize that there has been significant improvement in the access to health care by the African Americans especially since the mid-20th century (Taylor). For over 200 years prior to the mid-20th century, the African Americans suffered significantly from the absence of connection to health care services. In addition to the lower status they held compared to other races, most African Americans lacked adequate education and significant income that would enable them access proper health care services. Since the passage of the Civil Rights Acts in the 1960s, however, they have made significant strides characterized by a substantial improvement in literacy rates and income levels, among other factors (Noonan et al. .1). Despite this, the African Americans still face significant health disparities. In 2018, for instance, 9.7 percent of the African Americans had no access to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) compared to 5.2 percent of the whites. Income gap is a significant factor contributing to the disparity. In 2018, African American households used approximately 20 percent of their income in health care services, including those paid by the employers compared to 11 percent that was funded by the whites (Taylor). A study conducted by Noonan et al. (1) in 2016 showed that the African Americans had, over the past decade, the highest child mortality, age-adjusted death, and homicide rates and the lowest life expectancy rates in the U.S. Thus, health care access disparities have contributed immensely to poorer health outcomes among the African Americans than the other races in the U.S.

Works Cited

Noonan, Allan S et al. “Improving the health of African Americans in the USA: an overdue

opportunity for social justice.” Public health reviews, vol. 37 No. 12. 2016, 1-20

Taylor, Jamila. Racism, Inequality, and Health Care for African Americans. The Century

Foundation. 19 December. 2019. Accessed 17 April 2020 Health Inequalities for African Americans.