Just a year ago, health care was the singular issue dominating the national policy debate. The fight over whether or not to create a public option to ensure that all Americans had access to health care, gave rise to the Tea Party movement which vehemently fought what they dubbed “socialized medicine”. Yet, despite the packed town hall meetings across the country, the voices of those who are most in need of health care services were rarely heard.
A report just released by the California Endowment finds that black and Latino males, in particular boys, are the group most likely to suffer from poor health. Location, the study found, seems to have the greatest impact on quality of life factors, and thus, on an individual’s quality of health.
Some of the study’s findings, which focused on California, include:
- Minority males are twice as likely as white males to suffer from poor health
- Latino boys are 4.1 times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder
- The homicide rate for young Latino men is five times higher than for whites and 16 times higher for black men
- Asthma and other preventable health problems plague minority communities, in part, because of the lack of safe and healthy neighborhoods that provide residents parks and open spaces for children to play and adults to exercise and the lack of access to grocery stores and restaurants that serve healthy meals.
According to Susan Eaton, the Research Director at the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute at Harvard Law School, “It’s not just that there’s a higher incidence of African-American and Latino children living in poverty, it’s that poverty is generally harsher for African-American and Latino children.”
To see the California Endowment’s report and plan for developing healthy communities, go to: http://www.calendow.org/healthycommunities/