Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Email from Kathleen Sebelius - Department of Health and Human Services


Too many Americans are suffering under a health care system that does not work for them. Americans in minority communities have higher levels of disease, fewer medical options, and worse outcomes. That’s why, today, I will be at the White House participating in a Health Care Stakeholder Discussion, focusing on how health reform can reduce health disparities and fix the status quo.

You can watch the event live today at 12:00 PM EDT by visiting www.HealthReform.gov. While you are there, you can also read a new report being released by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Disparities: A Case for Closing the Gap.

The findings in the report are disturbing. The new report highlights the effects of a health care system that does not work for millions of Americans. Under the status quo:

  • 48% of African-American adults suffer from a chronic disease compared to 39% of the general population
  • 15% of African Americans, 14% of Hispanics, and 18% of American Indians suffer from adult onset diabetes, compared with 8% of the white population
  • 20% of low-income Hispanic youth have gone a year without a health care visit – a rate three times higher than that for high-income whites

As Congress considers health reform legislation this summer, these statistics should remind us that reform cannot be postponed another year. Please join me in working to reduce health disparities in America. Join the conversation by visiting www.HealthReform.gov and sharing your story or idea about the importance of passing health reform this year.

Thank you for your commitment and support as we work towards creating a health care system that better serves all Americans.


Kathleen Sebelius
Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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