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Health Disparities And Reforms Discussed At Ferguson Commission Meeting

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Health Disparities And Reforms Discussed At Ferguson Commission Meeting

St. Louis, MO (KTRS)  There’s huge health disparities along racial and ethnic lines in the United States. That’s according to Ryan Barker of the Missouri Foundation For Health, who spoke at Monday night’s meeting of the Ferguson Commission. Barker said one aspect of this issue involves unhealthy habits.  In his presentation he added, “It often gets […]

Health Disparities And Reforms Discussed At Ferguson Commission Meeting

St. Louis, MO (KTRS)  There’s huge health disparities along racial and ethnic lines in the United States.
That’s according to Ryan Barker of the Missouri Foundation For Health, who spoke at Monday night’s meeting of the Ferguson Commission.

Barker said one aspect of this issue involves unhealthy habits.  In his presentation he added, “It often gets spun as, minority communities are doing it to themselves….that they are smoking more, they are drinking more, they are using drugs. The question often doesn’t get asked why. So if you’re experiencing oppression, discrimination on a daily basis, day after day after day, we call these unhealthy behaviors coping mechanisms.”

Barker also described the major differences in E.R. visits between blacks and whites.  He attributes this to access to health insurance: “We know when people are uninsured, they don’t access preventative care because of cost. They wait and wait and wait until they have to go to the hospital and then they show up in the emergency room and we see huge differences in E.R. visits between whites and African-Americans.”

Currently about eleven-percent of whites in the United States are without health insurance, compared to about eighteen-percent of African-Americans and 23-percent of Hispanics who don’t have health insurance.

The next meeting of the Ferguson Commission is scheduled for June 8th.

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