Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities: The Action Plan from the Department of Health and Human Services

Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities: The Action Plan from the Department of Health and Human Services

The article focuses on the 2011 Department of Health and Human Services action plan that helps reduce the racial and ethnic health disparities which respond to both the devices that were previously offered by stakeholders and the opportunities that the Affordable Care Act of 2010 have to help benefit the society. The action plan precisely advances five primary goals that is upholding the accountability of HHS for making demonstrable progress, promoting scientific innovations and knowledge, strengthening the workforce and infrastructure of the nation’s human and health services, transforming general health care, and advancing Americans’ well-being and health(Koh, Graham&Glied, 2011).

The article precisely describes the need for a disparities action plan. The author points out that health disparities have significantly impacted the ethnic and racial minorities including the poor and other groups grouped in the population that are at risk for many years hence the need for health disparities action plan, according to the article, health care disparities usually carry primary societal consequences, for instance, those minorities who are the represent the large uninsured population usually have poor access to health care(Koh, Graham &Glied, 2011). Poorer health outcomes for ethnic and racial minorities are contributed by health disparities in a wide ray of conditions including mental health, HIV/AIDS, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer among others.

The further articledepicts the new climate for change.  Apart from the Action plan, other developments are mentioned in the article that aided to the ushering in of new climate to precisely address healthdisparities. These developments include Array of complementary national, strategic planning initiative, the affordable care act, the national stakeholder strategy for achieving health equity, a grassroots public-private collaboration, and the national partnership for action and end health disparities(Koh, Graham &Glied, 2011).

In the efforts of seeking guidance for better strategies to address health disparities, HHS convened a summit for elimination ethnic and racial disparities in health in 2008 where over 2000 stakeholders attendant(Koh, Graham &Glied, 2011). On the other hand, the article speculates that the affordable care act also helped address health disparities more critically in addition to enacting comprehensive health reform. The article further provides both the national stakeholder strategy for achieving health equity and HHS action plan to help reduce ethnic and racial health disparities goals and related strategies.

According to the article, the implementation of the Affordable Care Act should narrowdisparities in health insurance coverage. The commitment to improving health is depicted as a way that could help decrease disparities. The article points out all HHS initiatives including prevention efforts in the major areas such as tobacco control, health literacy, chronic viral hepatitis, vaccines, HIV and AIDS, and environmental justice(Koh, Graham &Glied, 2011).

The article further provides a description of that all HHS agencies have begun upgrading their strategic plans, communications, programs, and regulations. The agencies were to precisely track down the health disparities outcomes across all domains using the critical performance measures for each of the five goals(Koh, Graham &Glied, 2011).

The article indicates that the action plan precisely addresses deeply rooted disparities that have defined significant efforts towards progress for years. The article concludes by indicating that the first HHS action plan to reduce ethnic and racial health disparities hold many promises to the nation(Koh, Graham &Glied, 2011). Additionally, the article advised that the country can move closer to becoming a country free from health disparities if it takes advantage of the new climate for change as well as the opportunities provided by the Affordable Care Act.




Koh, H. K., Graham, G., &Glied, S. A. (2011). Reducing racial and ethnic disparities: the action plan from the department of health and human services. Health Affairs, 30(10), 1822-1829.

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