During a White House Health Care Stakeholder Discussion hosted June 9, HHS Secretary Sebelius released a new report on health disparities in America titled Health Disparities: A Case for Closing the Gap. Some of the existing disparities the report highlights include:
- Forty-eight percent all all African American adults suffer from a chronic disease compared to 39 percent of the general population
- Eight percent of white Americans develop diabetes while 15 percent of African Americans, 14 percent of Hispanics, and 18 percent of American Indians develop diabetes
- Hispanics were one-third less likely to be counseled on obesity than were whites – only 44 percent of Hispanics received counseling
- African Americans are 15 percent more likely to be obese than whites
- Forty percent of low-income Americans do not have health insurance; about one-third of the uninsured have a chronic disease, and they are six times less likely to receive care for a health problem than the insured
Eliminating health disparities is a major focus of Community Health Centers like those in Michigan. Community Health Centers are committed to increasing the quality and years of healthy lives for all regardless of age, race, and ethnic or socioeconomic status.
To improve health outcomes, Michigan Community Health Centers participate in innovative disease management programs. Studies show that where there is a Community Health Center, the health of the community is improved. That is why Health Centers need to be part of health care reform.
To learn more about Michigan Community Health Centers and how they are serving as health care homes that provide quality, affordable, comprehensive primary and preventive care for Michigan’s most vulnerable populations – people who even if insured would likely remain isolated from traditional forms of medical care because of where they live, the language they speak, and their complex health care needs – read MPCA’s Access to Health Care for All of Michigan plan.