Changes in Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Access to Care and Health Among US Adults at Age 65 Years
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Question: Is Medicare eligibility associated with reductions in racial and ethnic disparities in access to care and health?
Findings: In this cross-sectional study using a regression discontinuity design, eligibility for Medicare at age 65 years was associated with reductions in racial and ethnic disparities in insurance coverage, access to care, and self-reported health across the US.
Meaning: Expanding eligibility for Medicare may be a viable means to reduce racial and ethnic disparities and advance health equity by closing gaps in insurance coverage.
Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care
As we have observed before, it is a national disgrace that despite the trillions of dollars spent on health care, the US is alone among developed nations in not providing health care to all its citizens.
The study by Wallace et al provides additional evidence that providing health care for all may reduce disparities in health and improve access and equity in the health care system.
Comment by Don McCanne of PNHP: Advocates of single payer Medicare for All certainly understand that such a program would provide health care coverage for everyone in a system that would make it affordable for each of us, simply by funding a universal risk pool with progressive taxes.
What has been a major concern for those of us supporting health care justice for all is that racial and ethnic disparities, with their inherent injustices, currently permeate our health care system. This very important study demonstrates that such disparities would be almost completely eliminated by adopting a universal program based on Medicare.
It is time to bring an end to the ridiculous discussions about there being many ways to expand health care coverage. It is time to enact and implement the program that we know would work well for all of us in America: single payer, improved Medicare for all.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction
July 29, 2021 at 7:12 PM #437754snotParticipant
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that for those who are not insured through their employers, there are very significant administrative hurdles in trying to access insurance. If it’s Obamacare, you have to assemble all kinds of info about your income and get it entered into a computer-based system, where you then get to try to analyze a plethora of plans that are all designed to trick you into getting less than you’re paying for. If it’s Medicare, well there are either 4 parts that probably work better but require more work because you have to deal with at least 3 separate plans, or Medicare Advantage, which simplifies things somewhat but at the cost of giving Advantage plan providers more opportunities to extract profits from the system; and in either case you still also have to assemble and submit a lot of info and analyze a bunch of plans.
VERY few citizens have both the leisure and skills needed to navigate all this completely successfully (and when they do, the amount of time and effort wasted on it is a another massive cost of our current system that’s externalized onto citizens).
And that’s all before you even get to the business of trying to find decent in-network doctors or get your claims paid.
I think elected officials and media pundits grossly underestimate how hard it is for people who don’t get their health insurance through their employer.
Single payer now!
Destruction is easy; creation is hard, but more interesting.
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