We should morally do what’s right when it comes to health care for all Americans. The moral argument is getting us no where as town hall meetings erupt like volcanoes. Now the public option is sinking faster than the Titanic. We’re concerned more about wealth than health. If you can’t beat them, then let’s join them. Let’s place the focus of the health care reform on money. A recent study by Timothy Waidmann at the Urban Institute estimates the increased costs due to racial and ethnic health disparitites is almost $24 billion in 2009.
Right now there are almost 10 million Americans, depending on who’s counting, without health insurance. We know the lack of affordable and quality health care results in poor health. Some would say, who cares. What the town hall erupters failed to realize is there is a higher cost for poor health. Simply put, it’s not cheaper to keep us in poor health or uninsured.
According to Mr. Waidmann’s study, the racial and ethnic health disparity among African Americans and Latinos due to elevated diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, and kidney disease will cost the health care system $23.9 billion in 2009. Through the next decade, it could raise as high as $337 billion dollars. The disparity in health between African Americans and Latinos with Whites due to these elevated disease rates increases the costs to the entire health care system including Medicare and Medicaid.
We can’t afford to fail on national health care reform that will also impact and lower the racial and ethnic health disparity of African Americans and Latinos. Quality health care and health care education must be necessary goals for health care reform. We pay a huge price for increased costs due to ethnic and racial disparity in health. Let’s lower these costs. Yes, health care reform is all about the money.