Skip to main content.

Health reform: No divide over prevention initiatives

Health reform: No divide over prevention initiatives

Picture of Suzanne Bohan

While reporting for a four-part series on the wide gap in life expectancies and disease rates between people in nearby neighborhoods – due to drastically different conditions and social status – I expected to find that health care reform legislation would do little to address this issue. The reform legislation, after all, is primarily about health care insurance. But I was surprised to find that, for the first time, Congressional legislation contains at least $3.4 billion to focus on improving health disparities. And this means that grants for improving neighborhood conditions – like hiring a security guard for a local park or bringing in a grocery store to an area without one - would qualify as a health promotion grant.

You can learn more about health care reform's role in pushing unprecedented disease prevention initiatives by dropping in the live, one-hour online chat from 8 a.m. PST (11 EST) on Thursday, Dec. 17, hosted by Bay Area News Group/Contra Costa Times. You can post questions for our distinguished guests, Dr. David Satcher, former U.S. Surgeon General and former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Rich Hamburg, deputy director of Trust for America's Health.

This is a first for Congress, as we describe in the fourth story in the series, and has broad bipartisan support. It turns out that minority members of the House are largely responsible for getting this language into the health care reform bill. This follows years of unsuccessful attempts to get Congress to approve - or even seriously consider - setting aside funds solely for reducing health disparities, which lead to far higher rates of diseases and premature death in poorer populations.

Satcher currently heads the Satcher Health Leadership Institute in Georgia, which trains public health leaders on strategies for reducing U.S. health disparities. The Trust for America's Health, a Washington D.C. nonprofit, is focused on expanding the role of disease prevention in health care policies.

 

Leave A Comment

Announcements

As public health officials like to say, "COVID-19 isn't done with us." And journalists know that we're not done with COVID-19. Apply now for five days of stimulating discussions on the pandemic's disproportionate impact on people of color -- plus reporting and engagement grants of $2k-$10k and five months of mentoring while you work on an ambitious project.

Are you passionate about helping journalists understand and illuminate the social factors that contribute to health and health disparities at a time when COVID-19 has highlighted the costs of such inequities? Looking to play a big role in shaping journalism today in the United States? The USC Center for Health Journalism seeks an enterprising and experienced journalism leader for our new position of “Manager of Projects.” 

 

CONNECT WITH THE COMMUNITY

Follow Us

Facebook


Twitter

CHJ Icon
ReportingHealth