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HHS secretary releases healthcare system report


WASHINGTON Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius released a new report Tuesday on health disparities in America.

“Health Disparities: A Case for Closing the Gap” features such facts as:

  • Forty-eight percent of all African-Americans adults suffer from a chronic disease, compared with 39% of the general population.
  • Eight percent of white Americans develop diabetes while 15% of African Americans, 14% of Hispanics and 18% of American Indians develop diabetes.
  • Hispanics are one-third less likely to be counseled on obesity than are whites -- only 44% of Hispanics received counseling.
  • African-Americans are 15% more likely to be obese than whites.
  • The report also notes that 40% of low-income Americans do not have health insurance. About one-third of the uninsured have a chronic disease, and they are six times less likely to receive care for a health problem than the insured. In contrast, only 6% of high-income Americans lack insurance.

“Minorities and low income Americans are more likely to be sick and less likely to get the care they need,” she said. “These disparities have plagued our health system and our country for too long. Now, it’s time for Democrats and Republicans to come together.”

Sebelius also participated in a White House Health Care Stakeholder Discussion on the importance of reform that reduces disparities that exist in the current U.S. healthcare system.

The new report  is available at

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