STUDY FINDS MEDICARE FOR ALL BEST HEALTH PLAN FOR POOR, BLACKS, LATINOS
Their research team, led by J. Michael McWilliams, M.D., Ph.D., sifted through medical data for 6,000 people ages 40 to 85 with diabetes or cardiovascular disease. They tracked their conditions from 1999 to 2006.
The researchers found that despite overall improvements in controlling the diseases, black, Hispanic and poor patients under 65 -- those not yet old enough for Medicare -- fared no better, or got worse.
However, at age 65, when people become eligible for Medicare coverage, the differences in health by race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status declined significantly.
McWilliams and his colleagues note American healthcare providers have engaged in widespread efforts in recent years to enhance medical quality. "However," they wrote, "quality of care may not necessarily lead to more equitable care, especially if improvements occur among providers who serve fewer disadvantaged patients . . . "
McWilliams and his coauthors points to universal health care coverage as a likely means of reducing health disparities in the
Common Dreams - In an unprecedented initiative, the leaders of four prominent groups in the 111th Congress - the Progressive Caucus, the Black Caucus, the Hispanic Caucus, and the Asian Pacific American Caucus - have sent a joint letters to President Obama and the Democratic Leadership of the House and Senate stressing that "our support for enacting legislation this year to guarantee affordable health care for all firmly hinges on the inclusion of a robust public health insurance plan like Medicare."
Together, one hundred seventeen Members of the House and Senate belong to at least one of these four congressional caucuses. . . .
"As the debate on health care moves forward, we stand together with one voice for the communities that most need this reform," said Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, Chairwoman of the 24-Member CHC. "With one out of every three Hispanics in our country likely to be uninsured and with so many Latino small business owners, we have to provide all Americans with the choice of a public health insurance plan."