Access to Care
Barriers to health care come in many forms. Racial disparities in care are still far more prevalent than many of us would care to admit. Infant mortality for African Americans is twice that of Caucasians. Rates of diabetes are higher in minority populations than in Caucasians, with rates for African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans at 70 percent, 100 percent, and 200 percent higher, respectively. Inequalities in health insurance coverage, poverty, geographic isolation, and language barriers, all affect an individual's access to health care. As cited in several of this month's articles, 45 million Americans are presently without health insurance. How do these people obtain care? What do they forego? This month's issue explores some of these and other ethical challenges to promoting access to care.