Healthcare must be affordable and accessible to all, without discrimination.
The administration and Congress should establish a national effort to end longstanding health inequities.
Disparities in healthcare and health outcomes persist in the United States.
Health disparities are attributed to broad structural, socioeconomic, political, and environmental factors that are rooted in years of systemic racism.
Certain populations are more likely to experience worse health outcomes, limited access to healthcare services, and lower quality of care based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability status, or geographic location.
An analysis from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Altarum found that disparities amount to approximately $93 billion in excess medical care costs and $42 billion in lost productivity per year, as well as additional economic losses due to premature deaths.
An intentional focus on and understanding of health inequities and disparities can serve as a catalyst for change across multiple sectors, including employment, housing, education, healthcare, public safety, and food access.
Achieving health equity will require coordinated leadership at the national, state, and local governments and with the private sector to address social determinants of health, increase access and affordability of healthcare services, and collect and analyze data to track progress.