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Today’s Topics In Health Disparities: The Effect of the Economic Downturn on the Health of Communities of Color

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Transcript (.pdf)

On Wednesday, March 25, the Kaiser Family Foundation held a live, interactive webcast to examine the economic downturn’s impact on health care in communities of color as part of its Today’s Topics In Health Disparities series. Rising unemployment has left many families uninsured and increasingly strained family finances are prompting some Americans to cut back on medications and forgo preventive care.

The panel discussed these and other potential implications of the economic crisis, focusing on how the recession is affecting communities of color in the areas of health care coverage, access to care and health outcomes as well as housing and employment. They also discussed how some states are adjusting to the rising demand for programs such as Medicaid, and whether the economic recovery legislation will help.

The discussion was moderated by Cara James, Ph.D., senior policy analyst on race, ethnicity and health care for the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The panelists are:

  • Lauren Smith, M.D., M.P.H., medical director, Massachusetts Department of Public Health
    Bio (.pdf)
  • Adrienne Hahn, senior attorney and program manager, Consumers Union
    Bio (.pdf)
  • William Spriggs, Ph.D., professor and chair, Department of Economics, Howard University
    Bio

Today’s Topics In Health Disparities is a series of live, interactive webcasts devoted to addressing a range of issues relating to health and health care disparities in the United States. Each discussion features a panel of experts tackling current issues in health disparities and answering questions from webcast viewers.