Health disparities by racial or ethnic group or by income or education are only partly explained by disparities in medical care. Inadequate education and living conditions—ranging from low income to the unhealthy characteristics of neighborhoods and communities—can harm health through complex pathways. Meaningful progress in narrowing health disparities is unlikely without addressing these root causes. Policies on education, child care, jobs, community and economic revitalization, housing, transportation, and land use bear on these root causes and have implications for health and medical spending. A shortsighted political focus on reducing spending in these areas could actually increase medical costs by magnifying disease burden and widening health disparities.
- 1. Where Health Disparities Begin
- 2. Raising Low 'Patient Activation' Rates Among Hispanic Immigrants May Equal Expanded Coverage in Reducing Access Disparities
- 3. How Cumulative Risks Warrant a Shift in Our Approach to Racial Health Disparities
- 4. Rising Closures of Hospital Trauma Centers Disproportionately Burden Vulnerable Populations
- 5. A Regional Health Collaborative Formed by NewYork-Presbyterian Aims to Improve the Health of a Largely Hispanic Community
- 6. Collection of Race and Ethnicity Data by Health Plans Has Grown Substantially, but Opportunities Remain to Expand Efforts
- 7. Undocumented Immigrants, Left Out of Health Reform, Likely to Continue to Grow as Share of the Uninsured