Achieving the Healthy People 2010 goal of elimination of health disparities: what will it take?

University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY, USA.
Advances in health economics and health services research 02/2008; 19:25-41. DOI: 10.1016/S0731-2199(08)19002-1
Source: PubMed


The second national goal for Healthy People 2010 is the elimination of health disparities related to social disadvantage in the United States. Unfortunately, progress to date has been limited. Our national strategy to achieve this goal has been too narrowly focused on public health. Success will require a broader strategy including alignment of existing national policies in non-health areas that affect the health of the socially disadvantaged such as education, health care, labor, welfare, housing, criminal justice, the environment, and taxation if it is to succeed. Key criteria are needed to begin to prioritize areas for federal investment to achieve this goal. These include the impact of the targeted condition on disparities, evidence base for the intervention, potential impact of the policy on disparities, economic impact, and federal politics. Two "big ideas" offer promise including federal investment in early child education and enhanced primary care within federally qualified community health centers. The proposed criteria are applied to each proposed policy.

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