Affordable Healthcare Access

All residents must receive access to high quality and affordable preventive and acute clinical care that is culturally sensible and takes into consideration the social conditions that influence an individual’s health. Granting individuals access to health care creates an environment by which people are less overwhelmed with taking care of themselves preventatively on a day to day basis instead. It also allows for individuals to not have to choose between which basic need to finance in the development of a health complication. 37% of Hispanics and 24% of blacks report to not having access to a usual source of care compared to 18% of whites.(1) Only 64% of blacks and 61% of Hispanics identify a physician’s office as their usual source of care. Blacks and Hispanics are less likely to receive the influenza vaccine. Black Medicare beneficiaries with cancer are less likely than whites to receive adjuvant therapy. The average time of hospitalization for Blacks and Hispanics is longer than whites. A review of 256 specialty practices reported that 22% could not accommodate the patient, 4% reported that the building was inaccessible, 18% could not transfer a patient from wheelchair to table, and only 9% reported the use of height-adjustable tables. Gynecology is the subspecialty with the highest rate of inaccessible practice. Women with disabilities have higher rates of breast cancer. 3 out of 5 people with serious mental illness dies 25 years earlier to chronic diseases. Adults with disabilities are more likely to have high blood pressure and rates of obesity. People who are blind or have vision impairment are 1.5 more likely to be obese. Members of the LGBT community are more likely than their heterosexual counterparts to experience difficulty accessing health care.(2) Individuals in same-sex relationships are significantly less likely than others to have health insurance, are more likely to report unmet health needs, and, for women, are less likely to have had a recent mammogram or Papanicolaou test. MSM (Men who have sex with men) account for nearly half of all people living with HIV in the United States, despite making up approximately 2% of the general population. In urban areas, the HIV prevalence among MSM exceeds the general population prevalence in many sub-Saharan African countries where HIV is widely perceived as a public health emergency. MSM account for 63% of reported syphilis infections and more than one-third of gonorrhea infections. Compared to heterosexual women, lesbians are more likely to be overweight or obese. Members of the LGBT population are approximately twice as likely to smoke as the general population.

  1. Goodell S, Escarce J. Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Access to and Quality of Health Care.
    http://www.rwjf.org/content/dam/farm/reports/issue_briefs/2007/rwjf17860. Accessed June 21, 2017.
  2. Ard K, Makadon. Improving the Health Care of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People: Understanding and Eliminating Health Disparities.
    https://www.lgbthealtheducation.org/wp-content/uploads/Improving-the-Health-of-LGBT-People.pdf. Accessed June 30, 2017.