Race Disparities Plague Treatment And Outcomes In Health Care

CNN examines race disparities in health care during a 4-minute segment that is part of the station's week-long focus on health care issues.

Anchors Tony Harris and Elizabeth Cohen examine disparities in both treatment and outcomes for minorities. For instance, Cohen notes that if a black man and a white man have a stroke, the black man’s chance of survival is 25 percent compared to 52 percent for a white man. Cohen also points to the death rate from cancer, which is 40 percent higher for black men than for white men. "These are incredible statistics," Cohen says. She points out that without health insurance, a person doesn't get as good of medical care and their outcomes are worse, noting that "minorities are over represented in the number of people who don’t have insurance."

"When I see a report like this... the first thing that I think and often think is that there must be some racism in the system," Harris responds. Cohen then points to research that shows that even with white and black veterans who have the same health insurance, blacks have worse outcomes. She noted other unspecified research that surveyed cardiologists and found that 44 percent believe blacks get worse treatment than whites. Harris ended the discussion noting that presumably getting more people insured would help to close the gap (6/19).

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