LimitedAccess to Healthcare Services among the Minority Population
Minoritypopulations are at a higher risk of lacking proper healthcareservices than their majority counterparts. The reasons for thesevariations are multi-factorial, with the main contributors beingsocial determinants (Betancourt, Green, Carrillo, & OwusuAnaneh-Firempong, 2016). For instance, individuals from minoritygroups have a tendency to be all the more financially impeded, topossess below par levels of training, to work in hazardousenvironments, and to live in territories with more prominentecological risks, (for example, air contamination) than individualsfrom the majority populace (Betancourt, Green, Carrillo, & OwusuAnaneh-Firempong, 2016). With the costs of healthcare getting higherevery day, it is only the poor minority who will suffer because theirfinancial capabilities are limited. For example, minorities make uptwenty five percent of the population in Chicago with the majorityranking as low income (Adams, 2016). These statistics can betranslated to mean that almost a quarter of the Chicago populace hasdifficulties accessing healthcare services. For the purpose ofnarrowing down the scope of the problem, this essay shall investigatethe issue of limited access to healthcare services among the minorityusing Chicago as the target area for the research. Because everyonedeserves to be treated when they fall ill, limited access tohealthcare among the poor minority population of Chicago limits theirrights as American citizens and the best way to tackle this issue isto create employment policies and laws.
Asa way to combat the issue of limited access to healthcare, policymakers traditionally focused on the social conditions of the minoritypopulation. There is a prolonged antiquity of intercessions on socialstates expected to lessen differences. For instance, Sara JosephineBaker executed general well-being intercessions among the lessfortunate in New York City: namely, licensing birthing assistants,pushing parents to breast feed their toddlers, giving safe purifiedmilk and school snacks, and providing maternal instruction activities(Carter-Pokras, Offutt-Powell, Kaufman, Giles, & Mays, 2012).Similarly, Joseph Goldberger was a promoter of logical and socialacknowledgment of the connections between neediness and sickness. Henoticed that fighting destitution enhanced nourishment and improvedthe health of the poor (Carter-Pokras, Offutt-Powell, Kaufman, Giles,& Mays, 2012).
Socialsetting mediations have a tendency to be non-particular in theireffects, yet are frequently advanced on the premise of variousinspirations. These intercessions are likewise relevant, and observedimpacts in one setting regularly do not sum up well with others.Lastly, social conditions are often related with well-being resultsin observational information, making it hard to question theeffectiveness of such an intervention (Carter-Pokras, Offutt-Powell,Kaufman, Giles, & Mays, 2012). Although focusing on the socialsituations of the poor is effective in improving their healthconditions, it is limited. It leaves decisions to the healthcareproviders and insurers. As long as insurers and healthcare providersthink that the population is healthy, they will continue charginghigh fees for medical services. Perhaps a better intervention is onewhich focuses on the providers instead of the population.
In2010, the United States government passed an Affordable Care billthat targeted providers. As the name suggests, this act was meant tomake healthcare affordable to all Americans regardless of theirincome status. This law makes it mandatory for health insurers toprovide coverage to Americans at a rate which takes intoconsideration their income status. Likewise, the law builds scope bypermitting states to extend Medicaid to cover everybody close to thedestitution line and by sponsoring private protection for individualswho are not poor, but instead do not have insurance to cover officeaccidents (Hall & Lord, 2014). The law permits many people tokeep their present insurance covers and does not alter how privateinsurers pay doctors and medical facilities. Additionally, people canswitch jobs and pursue different passions without worrying abouttheir health insurance. Obamacare (as the act is commonly known)gives room for flexibility and prohibits insurers from raising rateswhen a person alters their living condition. Since its implementationin 2010, the number of uninsured Americans has been cut by half (Hall& Lord, 2014). One way the government uses to encourage people totake up insurance cover is to impose tax penalties on those who donot apply. This move has resulted in higher medical insurance uptakefrom the population – especially the poor minority folks of theChicago area. Despite the noticeable increase in the number ofinsured individuals, the law has its limitations as it has not beenable to totally alleviate the problem of limited access tohealthcare.
Runningthe healthcare system is a costly venture and although the governmentinsists on affordable insurance for everyone, the state needs moremoney than it initially required to carry out this plan. Higher taxeshave been imposed on high income individuals to cover this need formoney. Ironically, the individuals who have to pay more taxes are thesame ones who own and run hospitals and insurance firms. As a way toprotect themselves from the increase in taxation, these individualstransfer the costs to the institutions making healthcare moreexpensive. But the law prohibits increase in premiums, so the costsare transferred to hidden charges, like high prices for medications.In the end, more people have access to health insurance, but theextent of that cover is limited – some prescription drugs may notbe catered for by the plan. Hence, access to healthcare remainslimited for those who cannot afford.
Solvingthe unemployment problem may be a better long term solution toimproving access to healthcare for the poor minority population inChicago. The minority population that lives below the poverty line isunskilled and uneducated. Chicago firms should be given taxincentives as a way to motivate them to employ more personnel –especially the unemployed minority. Another reason for the highunemployment rate is discrimination in the workplace.
Employersare more likely to hire white people than individuals from theminority population. In fact, job applicants with names that soundwhite are more likely to be called for a job interview than theirminority counterparts. This explanation explains why there are somany unemployed minorities in Chicago. In the modern workenvironment, it is illicit to victimize an individual in light of anassortment of secured attributes like race and sex. Additionally, itis socially inadmissible to victimize candidates or workers in lightof attributes that are not work related, even those that may not belawfully secured like gender personality (Jones, Arena, Nittrouer,Alonso, & Lindsey, 2017). But preference in the workingenvironment regularly shows up in unobtrusive courses, for example,where businesses pick certain candidates in view of their names.Although the law states clearly that discrimination is illegal,employers still practice it in discreet ways like the one mentionedabove. Instead of using financial compensation as a remedy for thosediscriminated against, the law should impose harsher penalties likejail terms for those who carry out the actual discrimination.Employers who discriminate on the basis of skin color or ethnicorigins should face jail time to discourage the act. If legislatorscan impose mandatory minimum sentences on certain crimes as a way todeter people from carrying out those illegal activities, then theycan also press similar punishments on biased employers as a strategyto deter discriminatory practices in the office environment.
Althoughpassing a law that includes jail time as punishment for thediscriminatory employer may be controversial, it may be necessary ifthe government wants to tackle unemployment for the minoritycommunities. Everybody has the right to choose whoever they want asan employee, but using ethnicity as a basis for selection is notvalid. The constitution guarantees equal rights and freedom for all.
Insum, many poor minority families in Chicago lack access to healthcarebecause they cannot afford it. Policy makers who traditionallyfocused on improving the well-being of these families as way to dealwith the health care debate turned their attention to the providers.This move was based on the ever increasing costs of healthcare.Despite an improvement in the living conditions of the poor, sicknesswas inevitable. When these people fell sick, they still could notmanage to pay for healthcare. The Affordable Care Act aimed atproviders managed to reduce the cost of health insurance and increasethe number of those insured. However, this law has not been able tototally solve the problem since some people cannot afford the cost ofmedication and not everybody is insured. A more direct approach is tosolve the issue minority unemployment. Minority unemployment ismostly driven by discrimination in the workplace – employers preferto hire people of a certain race. A law that imposes jail time onemployers who discriminate could be the solution to ending thisunfavorable practice. Such a law will deter biased employers andcreate employment opportunities for the minority populace.
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