Factors Contributing To Health Disparities and Ways to Address Them

Health sectors is a major area of concern in America for health is necessary for human beings to function efficiently. Since the American government is committed to serving every citizen equally, it has allocated a big section of the US budget to the health sector for the department to be able to curb serious issues that may crop up concerning every citizen`s health without discrimination. These have placed a burden on the economy given that the state has to subsidize the health expenses of a group of people to ensure excellent service to all citizens. Consequently, the government needs to address the underlying cause of the health disparities to minimize these cost. For these to be possible, it is important to address the cause of health inequality and ways to address them (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2012). It is in this connection that this essay focuses on addressing: ways of determining the factors that contribute to health disparities and how to eliminate the differences. Secondly, how to improve the well-being of all groups of individuals and achieve health equality.

Reasons for health disparities

According to the statement by World Health Organization, there is a greater burden of mortality, injury, and illness, experienced by one group in comparison to the other. This disparity often attached to ethnicity, culture, or race is attributed to age, gender, disability status, and socioeconomic status (WHO, 2017). The group of people vulnerable to health disparities often referred to as vulnerable populations. Despite the American government improving the general population health through an allocation of a bigger section of the financial budget to the health sector, the disparities have persisted. 

These disparities are attributed several factors one of which is the socioeconomic status based on the education level, occupation, and income level. The socioeconomic position of the racial/ethnic minority group is averagely lower. According to the Economic Research Service, the Hispanic grown-ups in the US attained a lower rate of high school education. The black under the age of 18 years experienced poverty in comparison to the peers in the racial/ethnic majority. These indicate that the population level of a given community may impact on the socioeconomic status. The connection between low education attainment, poor health status, and poverty with an increase in mortality and morbidity are well recognized. Diseases like: diabetes, heart disease, low birth weight, and obesity prevail more among those with low educational achievement and lower income level. Also, the minority has a much more likely hood of not possess an insurance cover as compared to the whites (KFF.org, 2017). Statistics indicate that uninsured rates for the blacks are 20.8%, 30.7% Hispanics as compared to 11.7% of the Hispanic whites who were uninsured (University of Minnesota, 2013). Most of the minorities have difficulties obtaining insurance in comparison to the white Americans.

A culture which is people`s way of belief, attitude, behaviors, and values upheld by a particular society also plays a role in the health disparities since it regulates the health related practices and beliefs. According to a research of African American attitude on health, behavior, and belief, 30% held on that their health directly depended upon fate and 50% felt that they had a role to play concerning their health (University of Minnesota, 2013). The 30% have their medical condition vulnerable to diseases hence increasing the health disparities in the US.   

How to eliminate the disparities.

For the US to reduce the health disparities, the millennium goals which addresses combating HIV/AIDS and other diseases, decreasing child mortality, eradicating extreme poverty and hunger among others are established (United Nations, 2009). These aggressive approaches which are almost similar to the objectives addressed in the healthy people 2020 overarching which include; first, making the health of every citizen better, achieving higher quality and longer lives without citizens who have disability, controllable diseases, injury, or premature deaths. Also, Attaining health equity supported by the affordable health care act aims at reducing the cost of health care, expanded coverage, and the citizen’s health. These will offer an opportunity to all the citizens to maintain a healthy life. Lastly, creating a physical and social environment which ultimately promotes a good health standard for everyone (Health.gov, 2017). These will curb any form of racism which contributes more to the low socioeconomic standards. To eliminate racial disparities, though complex, it is important to address the non-financial hurdles in accessing health care. Through eliminating racism, the socio barrier will not exist hence the minority will have equal education and employment opportunity like the whites who form the majority in the US. These will eventually ensure increased jobs and a reduced poverty level. 

In a nut shell, the health disparities in the US is a government concern and strategies to address them are in place. With the implementation of healthy people 2020 objectives and the millennium goal, two approaches having goals related in their interpretations, the American government may be able to reduce the health disparities between the communities in the US.


Health.gov. (2017, July 20). Healthy people. Retrieved from https://www.healthypeople.gov/#

Kaiser Family Foundation. (2012, December 12). Focus on Health Care Disparities. Retrieved from https://kaiserfamilyfoundation.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/8396.pdf

KFF.org. (2017, July 14). Search State Health Facts. Retrieved from http://www.kff.org/statedata

United Nations. (2009). The Millennium Development Goals Report. Retrieved from http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/pdf/MDG_Report_2009_ENG

The University of Minnesota. (2013, April).The causes of Health Disparities. Retrieved from http://www.epi.umn.edu/let/nutri/disparities/causes.shtm

WHO. (2017). Global Health Observatory (GHO) Data. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/gho/en/

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