Panel Discusses Health Care Issues In Black America

CNN's Soledad O'Brien hosted a panel discussion on health care issues facing African-Americans in preparation for "Black in America 2, a CNN investigation about the most challenging issues facing African-Americans that will premiere July 22 and 23. The video touches on health care disparities in the African-American community and concurrent social issues that affect care.


O’Brien asked panelists about the role race plays in health care, especially as debate heats up. Kim Rivers, creator of the documentary "Trouble the Water," discussed broader social issues such as the small percentage of black doctors and how poverty impacts care. O’Brien followed up by discussing issues of paying for health care. She mentioned Project Brotherhood, a Chicago program in which doctors provide free health care and half of recipients are uninsured.

Another panel member Rene Syler, a former CBS Anchor and breast cancer survivor, mentioned the need for health care reform. "They can’t figure it out in Washington, we can’t figure it out here," Syler said. "But the bottom line is that there are a lot of issues with regard to a very broken health care system." Syler also spoke about her experience with a type of aggressive breast cancer that disproportionately impacts black women.

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