MAY 07, 2013
Determined to give poor minorities the same quality medical care as their wealthier, white counterparts, the Obama administration allocated another $40 million this month to yet another government program aimed at eliminating the disparities.
The driving force behind the costly effort is to single out—and eliminate—healthcare inequalities between ethnic minorities and their more affluent and educated white counterparts. In fact, an Obamacare initiative to “reduce racial and ethnic health disparities” established half a dozen federal Offices of Minority Health as well as one for each state.
In the last few years the administration has doled out north of $100 million to conquer the issue by funding initiatives that help lower chronic diseases—such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease—“disproportionately seen among poor and minority populations.” This includes a federal task force to “reduce racial and ethnic asthma disparities,” and an innovative state obesity map that reveals blacks, the poor and uneducated are disproportionately obese compared to affluent Caucasians.
Last summer the government spent tens of thousands of dollars to develop a special mobile device application “in different languages and in culturally appropriate contexts” to help “underserved and minority women fight and prevent cancer.” To assure that the app is topnotch, the government offered entrepreneurs money to create it by launching a contest called Reducing Cancer Among Women of Color App Challenge. The winner gets $85,000, second place gets $10,000 and third place $5,000.
This month’s race-based health initiative du jour aims to lower “stroke risk among racial and ethnic minorities in the United States,” according to an announcement that reveals $40 million has been allocated for the cause. Compared to non-Hispanic whites, racial and ethnic minorities such as African-Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Asian-Americans, and American Indians and Alaska Natives are more likely to experience a stroke and its related disability, according to the announcement from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the nation’s medical research agency.
It’s safe to bet the administration will continue pouring money into these special programs because it has determined that practically all ailments known to man disproportionately affect minorities. To document it the administration for the first time ever created a new section on socioeconomic status in the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) annual comprehensive report on Americans’ health.
Nearly two dozen pages are dedicated to the special socioeconomic status section, which includes 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 virtually every chronic known disease 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.
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