Medical Inequity in the US

In America, medical inequity is a serious problem that currently creates a state of inequality in the healthcare that is provided in the country. This is known as a health disparity, and several categories are classified as a health disparity. These include mental health, insurance, mortality, life expectancy, disease likelihood, and lack of access to healthcare.

Mental Health

Disparities in mental health exist in younger populations; according to data from the National Center for Youth Opportunity and Justice, 70% of individuals found in the juvenile justice system have been afflicted with a mental disorder. Along with the age disparity, there is a gender disparity, due to the fact that 24.5% of women have been diagnosed with a mental disorder while 16.3% of men have been diagnosed in the US, according to data collected by the National Institute of Mental Health.


Insurance has a racial and ethnic disparity; there are less Hispanic and Black Americans covered under insurance compared to white Americans, and there is a higher percentage of uninsured people found in the Southern states due to the fact that there is less coverage of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, which was passed in 2010.


With mortality, there is also a racial disparity between older white and Black US citizens. Additionally, the amount of education received for people of any race also affects the age of mortality; according to data gathered by the National Cancer Institute, less educated people have a higher chance of dying from colorectal cancer before turning 65.

Life Expectancy

At the beginning of the twentieth century, there was a racial disparity on the life expectancy between white and Black Americans. The difference between the two demographics started out as 14 years, and throughout the last two decades, has fallen to a difference of 4 years through better healthcare access and advocation. During the pandemic, however, the life expectancy of all races fell by a small portion.

Disease Likelihood

The likelihood of disease has a racial and ethnic disparity. Black and Hispanic Americans are much more likely to have asthma compared to other citizens. This data can be supported by the fact that social structure has put these populations at risk of having asthma. Additionally, the highest rates of diabetes is found in American Indians and Alaskan Natives, according to data found by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, location has a significant role in determining disease rates- regions in the rural Appalachian have higher rates of colorectal, lung, and cervical cancer compared to other areas found in the US.

Lack of Access to Healthcare

Lack of access to healthcare has a disparity regarding race, ethnicity, and income. Due to the fact that the rural Appalachian region has residents with significantly lower incomes compared to the rest of the country, there is also a lack of access to physicians and mental health providers.

In order to combat these disparities, more awareness, education, resource availability, and advancements through partnerships with different organizations is needed. An organization that specializes in advancing healthcare equity is the American Medical Association, or AMA. Since several disparities are based off of race and ethnicity, setting up resource distribution must be managed carefully in order to reach every demographic and ensure that every citizen receives adequate healthcare and protection.


University of Southern California. “6 Examples of Health Disparities & Potential Solutions.” USC EMHA Online, 2 Apr. 2021, Accessed 12 June 2024.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *