Reply to the following two classmates’ posts. In your reply posts, incorporate challenges you would anticipate for the proposals, as well as arguments to overcome those challenges. Each reply should be 200 to 400 words.


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POST # 1: Bethany

The purpose of this discussion is to obtain knowledge on the health disparities that currently exist in the United States (U.S) and to identify two public health policies that are needed in order to reduce specifically the racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare. Shi and Singh (2014) state that the 2015 U.S census bureau estimated that more than 38% of the population was made up of minorities. With this number expected to continue to rise, it is important that the correlation is made to these minorities and the uninsured. In 2014, the number of uninsured was 19.9% of Hispanics, 11.8% of blacks, 9.3% of Asian Americans (Shi, & Singh, 2014). These minorities have a harder time accessing healthcare, receive care of lesser quality and are an increased risk for contracting illness’ (Shi, & Singh, 2014).  In 2010, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) sought to narrow the gap on health disparities by offering increased government-assisted health insurance programs through Medicaid and setting standards for the health insurance companies to widen the eligibility and to prevent discrimination (Shi, & Singh, 2014). This public policy helped to reduce the number of minorities that were uninsured and was an overall step in the right direction. However, some Republicans continue to repeal and alter the ACA which has led to some stricter requirements and many becoming uninsured once again (Hayes, et al. 2017). This is a step in the wrong direction because of the more uninsured citizens out there the poorer the health of these individuals and families which results in more expenses for the government anyways.  There are two public policies that could be used to reduce these disparities in health care and they include requiring all citizens to obtain health insurance either through private insurance companies or an expanded Medicaid system that is mostly government-funded and an additional expansion on health insurance that allows young adults to be covered through parental insurance plans up until age 30. These policies would almost eliminate the uninsured Americans in two quick acts that open the opportunities for insurance at decreased cause but also sets a standard that has to be followed in order to lead to improved health and healthcare.  Kaiser Health News mentions that the uninsured are especially common in rural areas and that is why these areas would be great for testing these new policies before they are enacted into law. The first policy would put into place a deadline that citizens would have to obtain insurance and those that remained uninsured would face a heavy penalty the following tax year. President Obama attempted to initiate this policy but failed because the penalty for not being insured was still cheaper for individuals than paying for insurance (Shi, & Singh, 2014). This mistake can be avoided by implementing it first in a rural community in order to work through the kinks and provide evidenced-based adjustments.  Second, allowing young adults to stay on their parent’s health insurance until they are 30 years-old would eliminate the largest population of uninsured (Shi, & Singh, 2014). Young adults are oftentimes just entering careers in their late 20’s and are still facing school debts and other major bills that they can barely afford. They are also pretty healthy a majority of the time and would rather avoid seeking health care than fork out a lump sum each paycheck for health insurance. Advancing the age of coverage on parental health insurance would decrease the amount of uninsured exponentially and increase health in a large population of Americans.   References Hayes, S., Riley, P., Radley, D. (2017). Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Access to Care. Retrieved from Kaiser Health News. (2020). States Look For Big Ideas To Turn Around Health Care Deficiencies In Rural Areas.

POST # 2: Carla

Minority racial and ethnic groups do not have access to the same level of care as racial and ethnic majority groups. The disparity between these groups influences disparities in other socioeconomic aspects. Therefore, legislation to reduce these disparities is key to improving the quality of life of racial and ethnic minorities. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has reduced these disparities in a historically unprecedented manner (Baumgartner, Collins, Radley, & Hayes, 2020). Since 2016, much of this progress has stalled.      It is important to note the strides made in reducing healthcare disparities prior to 2016. This is evidence of a legal basis for the reduction of healthcare disparities. It is clear that legislation can provide easier access to healthcare for racial and ethnic minorities. It is opposition to this legislation that increases disparities. The Republican party, in efforts to repeal the ACA, has created circumstances that stall the progress made by the ACA. Thus, the previous disparities and issues in healthcare will return.      Given that legislation has been proven successful at increasing healthcare access and quality for racial and ethnic minorities, it stands to reason that future legislation will have the same impact. One such public policy measure is education on nutrition and food. Many racial and ethnic minorities are medically disadvantaged because of social determinants (Thornton et al., 2016). Increasing awareness of health nutrition is key to increasing the demand for increased health resources.      The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that Native Americans were almost twice as likely as non-Hispanic whites to have type-2 diabetes (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2016). Decreased access to healthy food and quality healthcare contribute to this dangerous statistic. Thus, a public policy requiring early education and nutritional intervention must also include food assistance and aid. It is not enough to simply state what is needed. Racial and ethnic minorities will continue to be left behind unless greater attempts are made.      A second public policy measure that may aid in decreasing health disparities should move to increase the number of care providers in minority communities. Minority neighborhoods have far fewer healthcare options that racial majority neighborhoods, and many lack the resources to care for serious illnesses (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2008). An improvement in this area could be done in many ways. Increasing the number of racial and ethnic minorities in healthcare may increase the number of providers in minority communities. Furthermore, improving the state of hospitals and provider offices in minority communities may attract better physicians. Supplying minority communities with adequate resources is key. This includes personnel. Encouraging more minority students to pursue health, and stay within one’s home community, will increase access to care over successive generations.       Health and healthcare disparities observed by researchers must be addressed through public policy. The ACA provided legal precedent for the effectiveness of such policy initiatives. These disparities will not disappear without proper action. Racial and ethnic minorities would greatly benefit from an expansion in public healthcare. An expansion (perhaps to a single-payer system) would afford minorities the opportunity to address chronic illness and concerns with a professional without fear of large medical bills. Furthermore, an expansion in public health would affect all communities, thus providing an easy and efficient means of addressing disparities across numerous communities, not only minorities. Thus, public policy in healthcare is not only effective, it may be required to preserve the sanctity and integrity of the American healthcare system.    

                                                                                 References Baumgartner, J., Collins, S., Radley, D., & Hayes, S. (2020, Jan. 16). How the Affordable Care Act has narrowed racial and ethnic disparities in access to health care. Retrieved from   Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016). Strategies for reducing health disparities. Retrieved from Kaiser Family Foundation. (2008, Oct. 20). Eliminating racial/ethnic disparities in health care: What are the options? Retrieved from Thornton, R. L., Glover, C. M., Cené, C. W., Glik, D. C., Henderson, J. A., & Williams, D. R. (2016). Evaluating Strategies for reducing health disparities by addressing the social determinants of health. Health Affairs (Project Hope), 35(8), 1416–1423.


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