Discrimination and Disparities within the Healthcare System may be a big Contributor to
the Nation’s Healthcare Problems
West Coast University
SOC 280 Sociology 202103SPIIOL OL-A
The United States’ health care system is not harmonized into a compact and equally accessible
system. Instead, it is a patchy kind of system that is run on public and private fronts. The private
sector has made health an excellently thriving business. However, this kind of health care system
has led to unacceptable discrimination and disparities based on race, socioeconomic status, and
gender. This study has been necessitated by the need to assess how discrimination and disparities
contribute to the nation’s healthcare problems. The study’s thesis statement is: Discrimination and
disparities within the healthcare system may be a big contributor to the nation’s healthcare
problems. The study’s specific objectives were anchored in the broad objective. They included
assessing the race-based healthcare inequalities, assessing the class-based healthcare inequalities,
and assessing gender-based healthcare inequalities. The study utilized key informant techniques,
questionnaires, and direct observations as the main research methods. The study area was Orange
County in the State of California. Out of a sample size of thirty-six (36) respondents, an
overwhelming majority acknowledged the existence of massive inequalities in the United States of
America. The existing disparities and discrimination have played and continue to play a huge role
in worsening the health situation in the United States. These testaments should act as a wake-up
call in the national bid to streamline the health sector to be more even and accommodative.
Key Words: Racism, Economic disparities, discriminations, Health care, Health care
This study aims to identify and assess the extent to which discrimination and disparities in the
healthcare system have contributed to the nation’s health problems.
Health disparities are the differences that exist within some specific groups of people
within the United States’ efforts to attain full health potential. Health disparities are easily
measurable through differences in prevalence, incidences, mortality rates, disease burdens, and
other serious health conditions. On the other hand, health discrimination occurs when patients face
barriers to accessing quality health care. Health discrimination prevents a victim from enjoying the
highest possible standards of health care.
In the United States of America, the healthcare system is unique when compared to other
industrialized countries. The nation does not have a uniform health care system. In other words, the
United States’ health care can easily be described as a hybrid system. It does not have singleplayer
national health insurance, neither does it have an operational national health service. Given
these facts, the nation’s health care system is plagued with problems such as high health care costs
and insurance cover disparities. Since the health care system is not universally accessible, the
model has remained a publicly and privately funded and controlled patchwork of fragmented
programs and systems. Generally, Americans have been left to decide for themselves the suitable
insurance cover to take – whether public or private. Vulnerable population groups receive health
care coverage from government-funded programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.
The enactment and subsequent implementation of the Affordable Care Act, introduced in
2010, brought rays of hope in revolutionizing health care in the United States. However, the Act’s
postulations, commonly dubbed “the Obama care,” has received a substantive amount of political
criticism and hurdles. Consequently, despite the implementation of the Act, well over 10 percent of
Americans remain uncovered.
Compared to other countries, United States spends more public and private money on
health care – spending
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