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Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities - Sociology Essay Example

2 pages
443 words
Wesleyan University
Type of paper: 
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The Disparities Action Plan has the potential of addressing some of the endemic health disparities among the ethnic and racial minorities in the United States. The design of the action plan is a culmination of a broad-based stakeholder involvement that includes the disadvantaged communities. Involving the target population in formulating fundamental health decisions amounts to a bottom-up approach to solving the problem (Fisher & Shortell, 2010). Therefore, there is a high likelihood of generating a home-grown understanding of the specific health disparity issues that affect the minority population (Koh, Graham, & Glied, 2011). With such knowledge then interventions and health problems are likely to match hence better health outcomes for the affected people.

The fact that the action plan draws its objectives from opportunities presented by the Affordable Care Act 2010 asserts its relevance and enforceability. In ideal situations, healthcare policies provide fundamental principles that when adequately harnessed through goodwill supports the operations of action plans (Fisher & Shortell, 2010). The ACA on which the action plan partly anchors has deliberate provisions targeting the at-risk but disadvantaged American racial groups. For instance, section 4004 of ACA provides for increased prevention efforts for underserved groups. Most of its parts also directly focus on community-based strategies for eliminating local barriers to health (Koh, Graham, & Glied, 2011). When medical services are taken to the grassroots where disparities exist, then it has the potential of resolving the problem of unequal access to such services.

The action plan also intends to use existing health care policy including the affordable care act and Medicaid which already is in touch with the realities of health service disparities (Koh, Graham, & Glied, 2011). For instance, it targets expansion of coverage to include the low-income earners under the Medicaid. It also provides for tax credits which will facilitate the low-income people purchase affordable coverage thus improving their resilience to health risks (Nelson, Stith, & Smedley, 2002). Looking at these efforts, they focus on the people below the poverty level meaning that it resolves the issues of health disparities associated with economic standing (Nelson, Stith, & Smedley, 2002). Financial inability is a primary cause of health disparity in the United States hence a plan that resolves it substantially makes health services accessible to everyone.



Fisher, E. S., & Shortell, S. M. (2010). Accountable care organizations: accountable for what, to whom, and how. Jama, 304(15), 1715-1716.

Koh, H. K., Graham, G., & Glied, S. A. (2011). Reducing racial and ethnic disparities: the action plan from the department of health and human services. Health Affairs, 30(10), 1822-1829.

Nelson, A. R., Stith, A. Y., & Smedley, B. D. (Eds.). (2002). Unequal treatment: confronting racial and ethnic disparities in health care (full printed version). National Academies Press.


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