Judicial Watch • U.S. Task Force To Close Racial/Ethnic Asthma Disparities

U.S. Task Force To Close Racial/Ethnic Asthma Disparities

U.S. Task Force To Close Racial/Ethnic Asthma Disparities

JUNE 05, 2012

In its quest to bring poor minorities the same quality of medical care as their wealthier, white counterparts the Obama Administration has launched a “coordinated federal action plan to reduce racial and ethnic asthma disparities.”

As the election nears, the new government task force will show Americans how the president is working to close the racial/ethnic gap on asthma, a disease it claims disproportionately affects minority children and kids living below the poverty level. In announcing the new multi-agency task force recently, the administration reveals that the asthma rates of African American and Puerto Rican children are more than double the rate of Caucasian children in the United States.

Furthermore, poor and minority children are more likely to have asthma and their health outcomes are worse. Black children are twice as likely to be hospitalized and four times as likely to die from asthma as white children, according to the new task force figures. Additionally, asthma is linked to academic performance because 10.5 million school days are missed annually due to asthma.

Thus the need for yet another taxpayer-funded program to help shave the gap. It’s not enough that, under Obamacare, dozens of new “health equity” offices have already been created to end the health disparities between poor minorities and whites. In fact, more than $100 million has already been dedicated to an initiative to help lower chronic diseases “disproportionately seen among poor and minority populations.”

This latest effort focuses strictly on asthma, which may leave some wondering if the administration plans to create task forces for other individual diseases as well. There would be plenty to choose from, according to the U.S. government’s annual comprehensive report on Americans’ health. This year’s edition features an unprecedented section on socioeconomic status that says practically all ailments—from depression to edentulism (lack of natural teeth) to cancer and childhood attention deficit disorder—are more prevalent among poor minorities.

Getting back to the new minority asthma task force, several federal agencies have teamed up with the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to form it. They include the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Health and Human Services (HHS) and Housing and Urban Development (HUD). A key factor in the asthma disparity is the “unacceptable burden of pollution” that “low-income and minority communities often face,” the chair of Obama’s White House CEQ said in a statement announcing the task force.

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan says it’s essential that the government ensures all children have a healthy place to call home. “The numbers don’t lie. Asthma disproportionately impacts low-income minority families,” Donovan said, adding that the new task force will help the federal government support the development of “innovative new approaches to improve and control asthma.”

That can only mean one thing; doling out more taxpayer dollars for yet another one of the president’s “innovative new approaches” to assist low-income minorities. This includes a $4.5 billion law—pushed through by First Lady Michelle Obama in 2010—that focuses on conquering childhood obesity among poor minorities who live in “food deserts” that don’t have healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables.

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