Racial Barriers of Accessing Health Care

Essay by libo100_usUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, October 2004

download word file, 7 pages 4.4 2 reviews

The present health crisis for racial minorities in the United States can be traced back to 400 years ago when racial discrimination rooted in this continent. For this long period of time, minorities were exclusive from the so called "mainstream" health system. The most popular health care system in U.S. - managed care, has actually built in incentives which may encourage discrimination. Research shows that "the total family premiums have risen more than $2,700 in four years, a rate was four times faster than that for workers' earnings" ("Kerry" 2004). Another research also shows that "the health care cost is continuing to increase in 12.9 percent next year. The firms are likely to shift much of the difference to employees in the form of higher required contributions and co-payment fees, or by limiting their choice of insurance plans" ("Survey" 2004).

Some interest groups, like politicians, hospitals, doctors, insurance companies claim that such problem is caused by the people who don't buy health insurances.

They also blame the companies which didn't provide health insurance package for their workers. These interest groups suggest each people should responsible for their own health condition. However, they only see the surface of this issue, and didn't see the essential of this issue in a large social scale.

In structural functionalist's perspectives, the health crisis is caused by the failure of social structure- the society could not provide equal access to health care for racial minorities. Vernellia R. Randall, a notable professor in the University of Dayton school of Law, states that "since 1975 minority health status has steadily eroded and there has been no significant improvements in the removal of barriers that are due to institutional racism" ("Institutional Racism" 1997). Institutional discrimination occurs when normal operations and procedures of social institutions result in...