The social factors determine people’s opportunities at the organizational level, including in the healthcare system. Due to the structural upstream opportunities and background of particular groups of people in the US, they experience health inequalities. Geographic and social minorities, disadvantaged people experience persistent health disparities: limited access to urgent care, high healthcare expenses, and a low level of assistance in urban areas.
Demographic, geographic, and economic conditions affect a person’s physical condition (Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, 2018). Geographically limiting the “rural mortality penalty” urges the high mortality rates in southern rural areas (Miller, 2021). 80% of the population there is Hispanic-Whites and black people, two racial minorities, with more cardiovascular diseases and the lowest rate of healthcare coverage. Alarmingly, 11% of the USA people with diabetes stop taking medications to save money (Chan et al., 2022). It illustrates the gap between the prices of medications and the financial opportunities of the population. Thus, high out-of-pocket costs become a barrier to being healthy. Unfortunately, every person not born into a wealthy family in an urban area suffers from medical inequality.
The US has multiple solutions for the urgent healthcare disparities. First, Baumann et al. (2022) find a positive correlation between education level and the healthcare source for refugees. As refugees got higher education levels, they adopted universal communication skills. It helped them access primary care through adaptation to a new country. However, this policy directly interfered with their lives by breaking privacy. It caused inequality in workplaces by favoring refugees. Second, the US is investing more money into healthcare, with $11 172 per person (McCullough et al., 2021). Recently, providing beneficiaries to 1.4 million US military people eliminated coronary artery bypass grafting (Young et al., 2021). Unfortunately, this strategy does not target a specific group, overlooking people with specific diseases. Moreover, uneven budgeting upset the rural areas. Still, these two decisions bring benefits to the US people.
Considering the significant issue in healthcare costs, the government should implement an alternative to face-to-face appointments. Undoubtedly, telemedicine that overcomes geographical and financial barriers is the best substitute. Instead of paying for screening, the primary healthcare providers send photos to the centers to evaluate the patient’s condition. Additionally, it is essential to attack patients from different spheres. For example, sugar-sweetened beverage warning labels can mitigate type 2 diabetes by influencing a person’s appetite (An et al., 2022). These regulations reduce body mass index by 0.32 and reduce medical treatment frequency.
Bringing ideas from the Bible to bear on contemporary healthcare problems helps to understand people’s attitudes towards medicine. Undoubtedly, the Bible raises spirituality in person by connecting sickness to sins. Confession in Psalm 38 (King James Holy Bible, 2001): “there is no health in my bones because of my sin” proves life and death are interchangeably existing, opposing the medical idea that death is the permanent ending of life. Although the Bible states that faith is essential for healing, it does not confront medical interferences: “It is not healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.” Nowadays, science and spirituality coexist and heal sick people.
The US has various healthcare problems for discriminated and disadvantaged minorities. The government targets poor access to medical institutions, economic issues, lack of access to transportation, and ineffective treatments. The country’s policy is pragmatic and centralized on increasing financial support for people. It is helping to balance inequality among different layers of the population. Meanwhile, more focus on innovative tools will irrevocably resolve the existing problems.
An, R., Zheng, J., & Xiang, X. (2022). Projecting the Influence of Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Warning Labels and Restaurant Menu Labeling Regulations on Energy Intake, Weight Status, and Health Care Expenditures in US Adults: A Microsimulation. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, 122(2), 334–344.
Baumann, K. J., & Adera, T. (2022). Sociodemographic Characteristics and Inadequate Usual Sources of Healthcare in a National Sample of US Refugees. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(12).
Chan, A. X., McDermott Iv, J. J., Lee, T. C., Ye, G. Y., Shahrvini, B., Radha Saseendrakumar, B., & Baxter, S. L. (2022). Associations between healthcare utilization and access and diabetic retinopathy complications using All of Us nationwide survey data. PloS one, 17(6), e0269231.
Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics. (2018). America’s Children in Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2018. Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics.
McCullough, J. M., Speer, M., Magnan, S., Fielding, J. E., Kindig, D., & Teutsch, S. M. (2020). Reduction in US Health Care Spending Required to Meet the Institute of Medicine’s 2030 Target. American Journal of Public Health, 110(12), 1735–1740.
Miller, C. E., & Vasan, R. S. (2021). The southern rural health and mortality penalty: A review of regional health inequities in the United States. Social Science & Medicine, 268.
Version of the King James Holy Bible. (2001).
Young, J. M., Stahlman, S. L., Clausen, S. S., Bova, M. L., & Mancuso, J. D. (2021). Racial and Ethnic Disparities in COVID-19 Infection and Hospitalization in the Active Component US Military. American Journal of Public Health, 111(12), 2194–2201.