Will the Affordable Care Act erase inequalities in health care?
The ranks of uninsured vary widely across the United States with some states and racial groups faring far worse than others in access to health care. However, the Affordable Care Act will likely change the unequal landscape.
According to 2011 data, hispanics are three times as likely to be uninsured as Whites nationwide, and Blacks twice as likely as Whites.
The racial disparities are pronounced even in states with overall good health coverage. For example, Minnesota ranks among the best states in the nation overall when it comes to access to health insurance, but Blacks are still twice as likely as Whites to be uninsured, and Hispanics four times as likely as Whites.
“The main reason is that they're more likely to have lower incomes and then not have access to employer-sponsored insurance,” said Lynn Blewett, director of the State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC). “They may have access through the state, but there are still barriers to signing up and staying enrolled.”
The research was conducted by SHADAC at the University of Minnesota, and was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.