Native News Network Staff in Native Health Discussion »
WASHINGTON April is National Minority Health Month, a month to raise awareness of the health disparities that continue to affect racial and ethnic minorities.
The 2012 theme for National Minority Health Month is "Health Equity Can't Wait. Act Now in Your CommUnity!" is a call to action and unity for all to get involved and invested in reducing health disparities. All regional, state and local offices of minority health, tribal health departments and other health departments should work in collaboration to work to end the vast health disparities.
"Despite the progress our nation has made over the past 50 years, racial and ethnic minorities still lag behind the general population on many health fronts. Minorities are less likely to get the preventive care they need to stay healthy, more likely to suffer from serious illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease and colon cancer, and they are less likely to have access to quality health care,"
states US Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a statement on National Minority Health Month.
She also touts the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obama Care. Secretary Sebelius said April is a time to celebrate the fact that more than 1.2 million Latinos, Blacks, Asian Americans and American Indian/Alaska Natives have gained coverage because the Affordable Care Act allows young adults without employer-provided insurance to stay on their parents' plans until age 26.
The Secretary also writes in her statement:
The Affordable Care Act, in conjunction with the Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities and the National Stakeholder Strategy for Achieving Health Equity that HHS released one year ago, addresses the needs of minority populations and other underserved groups, by bringing down health care costs, investing in prevention, and supporting improvements in primary care and Medicare. As a result of the health care law, we are making strides in giving every American regardless of race or ethnicity a fair shot at quality, affordable health coverage.
Many Americans can now get such key preventive services as mammograms, cancer screenings and flu vaccinations with no co-pay or deductible, a significant barrier in the past to many in minority communities. Insurance companies cannot discriminate against children under 19 for pre-existing conditions, and in 2014, that protection will cover adults, as well.
posted April 3, 2012 6:30 am edt
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