MAY 31, 2012
A special treat from the Obama Administration; for the first time, the U.S. government’s annual comprehensive report on Americans’ health features a special and heavily promoted section on socioeconomic status.
This appears to be part of the president’s mission to close the gap in “health disparities” that currently exist between poor minorities and whites. In fact, Obamacare created an initiative to “reduce racial and ethnic health disparities” by, among other things, establishing dozens of new “health equity” offices to “empower people” and “mobilize community partnerships” to end disparities. More than $100 million has already been dedicated to the initiative to help lower chronic diseases “disproportionately seen among poor and minority populations.”
To promote the cause, and the Affordable Care Act’s groundbreaking policies, April was coined National Minority Health Month (because “health equity can’t wait”). This month, the agency that publishes the nation’s annual health report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), proudly announced its dedicating a portion to socioeconomic status and health. The report’s bright purple cover promotes the new section in big type right below the main title (Health, United States, 2011).
Approximately 20 pages are dedicated to the special socioeconomic status section, which features a variety of charts and graphs comparing the difference in the healthcare received by whites, Hispanics, blacks and Asians. Practically all ailments are mentioned, including asthma, obesity, mental disorders and dental visits with a breakdown of disparities among ethnic minorities and the uneducated and poverty-stricken.
Everything from depression to edentulism (lack of natural teeth), obesity, cigarette smoking and cancer is more prevalent among the poor, according to the government’s assessment. Even childhood attention deficit disorder hits low-income minorities harder and practically every chronic disease known to man strikes them at much greater rates than educated whites. In short, people with higher education and income levels have lower rates of many chronic diseases compared to those with less education and lower income levels, the feds assert.
This also applies to childhood obesity, one of Michelle Obama’s obsessions. If you recall, the First Lady got Congress to pass a $4.5 billion law to conquer childhood obesity by convincing lawmakers and the nation that it’s an epidemic, especially among low-income minorities. As a result American taxpayers are funding an overhaul of the inner city diet by providing affordable—and in some cases free—healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables, in areas known as “food deserts.”
As part of that particular effort, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) launched an internet-based mapping tool last year that identifies so-called “food deserts,” which are low-income areas with “limited access to affordable and nutritious foods.” The tool will help the feds provide fresh produce and grilled lean meats as alternatives to greasy, fried foods that tend to be more popular in those areas.
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