Study: Reform could reduce health disparities

One sad fact of U.S. medicine is that right now, there's often large differences between the care different racial and socio-economic groups receive. These disparities include differences not only in health status, but also mortality rates from chronic illnesses.

However, there may be help on the way. A new study from Harvard Medical School has concluded that if the U.S. enacts universal health coverage, there will probably be fewer disparities in care.

The researchers, who studied data from more than 6,000 people between 40 and 85, concluded that once people reached the Medicare-qualifying age of 65, gaps in health indicators narrowed across race, economic status and ethnicity.

To determine what existing disparities looked like, researchers analyzed data on blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar collected between 1999 and 2006 from individuals in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

To learn more about this study:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece (reg. req.)

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