NAACP Urges Equal Health Care Access at Annual Convention
Improving access to health care was the "big theme" Saturday at the NAACP's 98th annual convention in Detroit, the Detroit Free Press reports.
NAACP Chair Julian Bond has signed a pledge that calls for better access to health care, according to an AARP news release. NAACP also has developed a five-point health plan, focusing on HIV/AIDS, respiratory diseases, mental health, obesity and access to care.
Myisha Patterson, who has worked on community health issues for the NAACP, said NAACP is aiming to reduce the number of uninsured blacks by half. About half of the U.S. residents who are uninsured are minorities, according to FamiliesUSA. Ron Pollack, executive director of the group, said that within the past two years, 43% of blacks have been uninsured at some point, compared with 24% of whites.
Patterson said, "The No. 1 one reason why we're dying at higher rates is because we're less likely to have access to health care." Pollack added that unless changes are made, the problem is "likely to get worse. ... Health care costs are rising at an enormous rate" (Warikoo, Detroit Free Press, 7/8).