Re-Examination of Health Disparities in the United States: A 3-Pronged Health Intervention Proposal
Decades of research have revealed immense disparities in health in the United States, but scholars are still working to pinpoint the causes of these disparities and find solutions. In this review, new ideas and current findings on the SES-health gradient and the effects of racism on health are analyzed in order to understand the current state of health disparities in the U.S. In addition to this new information, lessons learned from an analysis of the Affordable Care Act, were taken into consideration to develop a 3-pronged health intervention plan to tackle health disparities. The plan prioritizes a “Health in All Policies” approach that emphasizes the importance of understanding the effects of any policy on health and health disparities, assuring that everyone is actively working towards undoing health disparities in the work they do. Additionally, the plan includes a shift in focus from healthcare expansion to the social determinants of health in order to ensure that the root causes of health care disparities are being addressed rather than a temporary fix, highlighting that health can be addressed through a variety of policies. The third part of the intervention plan focuses on dismantling racism, assuring that people be held accountable for their implicit bias in order to address systemic racism. This 3-pronged approach will not be enough to completely undo health disparities, but it is a step in the right direction.