Left Out: Ways and Means Committee Releases Report Exploring Health System Inequities
Challenges faced by residents of rural and underserved communities regarding barriers to health care were analyzed in a report released by the House Ways and Means Committee.
The report, entitled “Left Out: Barriers to Health Equity for Rural and Underserved Communities”, examined many cross-sector and historically rooted difficulties leading to adverse health outcomes in these communities.
Some of the circumstances mentioned in the report that lead to these adverse outcomes include geographic coverage deficiencies, environmental factors and workforce shortages. The committee’s report also found that non-White residents of underserved localities had health outcomes and statuses that were “often exponentially worse than their White counterparts.”
Those residing within these communities must cope with “persistent disparities in prenatal and maternal health outcomes” that contribute to poorer health statuses overall, the report said. In comparison to those residing in communities with greater access to health resources, individuals in underserved communities are more likely to prematurely die from heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic lower respiratory disease and accidental injuries.
“Severe inequity exists in our nation when it comes to the accessibility and affordability of health care,” Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., who chairs the committee, and ranking member Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, said in a joint statement. “Earlier this year, we formed a bipartisan task force to examine the delivery and financing of health services in urban and rural underserved areas.”
“Now, we urge stakeholders from across the country to provide their input on priority topics that affect health status and outcomes for the task force to consider and discuss,” the statement continued. “The submissions we receive will support our members’ work identifying the causes of health care disparities and developing strategies to close gaps in care that exist between certain communities.”
Although the U.S. spends nearly twice as much on health care as similar, well-developed countries, health outcomes continue to be comparatively worse. This notion is exacerbated by aging infrastructure, economic disinvestment and higher burdens of chronic conditions in these areas.
The report was derived from qualitative analysis taken from almost 200 responses received from a formal request for information. The COVID-19 pandemic has further magnified health-related disparities in underserved communities.
“The devastating coronavirus pandemic has forced the deeply-rooted health inequities in our society to the forefront of the national conversation, making the need for solutions more urgent than ever,” Neal said. “This landmark report is an important first step in taking meaningful action toward achieving health and economic equity across our country. The committee will draw on these findings to create policies that make optimal health a reality for all Americans and eliminate inequities based on race and geography.”
In The News
In The News
YARMOUTH, Maine (AP) — When then-Maine Gov. Paul LePage endorsed Donald Trump in 2016, he credited himself as a prototype... Read More
YARMOUTH, Maine (AP) — When then-Maine Gov. Paul LePage endorsed Donald Trump in 2016, he credited himself as a prototype for the insurgent presidential candidate. "I was Donald Trump before Donald Trump became popular, so I think I should support him since we are one of... Read More
ATLANTA (AP) — When Democrat Stacey Abrams narrowly lost the Georgia governor's race to Republican Brian Kemp four years ago,... Read More
ATLANTA (AP) — When Democrat Stacey Abrams narrowly lost the Georgia governor's race to Republican Brian Kemp four years ago, she didn't go quietly. She ended her campaign with a nonconcession that acknowledged she wouldn't be governor, while spotlighting her claims that Kemp had used his... Read More
TALLAHASSEE — Hurricane Ian’s march through Florida and the Carribean left at least 35 people dead in the Sunshine State,... Read More
TALLAHASSEE — Hurricane Ian’s march through Florida and the Carribean left at least 35 people dead in the Sunshine State, along with another three in Cuba, and caused anywhere from $66 billion to $75 billion in damage, depending on the estimate. But as the cleanup and... Read More
WASHINGTON — Attorney General Merrick Garland on Friday imposed a new set of rules Justice Department officials will have to... Read More
WASHINGTON — Attorney General Merrick Garland on Friday imposed a new set of rules Justice Department officials will have to follow to invoke the state secrets privilege in litigation in the name of protecting national security. In a memo sent to the heads of all DOJ... Read More
WASHINGTON — The Biden administration changed its rules on who qualifies for student loan forgiveness Thursday as seven states filed... Read More
WASHINGTON — The Biden administration changed its rules on who qualifies for student loan forgiveness Thursday as seven states filed lawsuits to block the plan that would wipe away $10,000 of debt for most borrowers. The states said in their lawsuit the Biden administration's student debt... Read More
DETROIT — DT Midstream, an owner, operator and developer of natural gas interstate and intrastate pipelines, announced Thursday that it... Read More
DETROIT — DT Midstream, an owner, operator and developer of natural gas interstate and intrastate pipelines, announced Thursday that it is acquiring an additional 26.25% ownership interest in the Millennium Pipeline. The company said the $552 million transaction will be financed with cash on hand and... Read More