Health Care Equity Caucus

Who we are:

The mission of Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) is to unite and empower medical students through service, mentorship and education, and to advocate for the health of the Latinx community. We recognize that there are several factors that influence health including employment, housing, education, public safety and food access. However, LMSA’s Health Care Equity Caucus was created to address one facet affecting health. We define health care equity as the fair distribution of healthcare resources regardless of identity and socioeconomic status.

Despite the gains made with the Affordable Care Act, an estimated 24 million people in United States remain uninsured, 40% of which are Latinos, and millions more are underinsured. About half of Latinx who are uninsured are undocumented and are ineligible for Medicaid and the ACA exchanges [1]. In addition to lacking access to healthcare, the Latinx population remains largely underrepresented in the physician workforce. Despite being 17.4% of the total U.S. population, the Latinx population only represents 4.4% of the physician workforce [2,3].

In order to achieve greater health care equity, this caucus supports and advocates for legislation that would reduce inequities in health care delivery and increase diversity in medicine. We advocate for quality health care for all and support the implementation of a single-payer health insurance system.

 

Purpose:

The LMSA Health Care Equity Caucus was created to serve as a forum for LMSA members interested in health policy affecting access to quality health care. The Caucus will provide a platform for medical students to engage in advocacy and research for policies promoting health care equity. The Caucus will support medical student research in health care disparities, be a resource for students interested in writing resolutions on this topic, and facilitate collaboration between LMSA members as well as other organizations. We strive to increase public awareness of access to health care inequities that currently exist in the United States.

We will address the following issues:

  • Insurance coverage, affordability and continuity of care
  • Health care financing system
  • Communication barriers (Physician diversity, cultural humility, language health literacy)
  • Workforce distribution (i.e. PCP shortage)
  • Unconscious bias and racism in medicine
  • Preventive and population health

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  1. R. Collins, M. Z. Gunja, M. M. Doty, and S. Beutel, Who Are the Remaining Uninsured and Why Haven’t They Signed Up for Coverage? Findings from the Commonwealth Fund Affordable Care Act Tracking Survey, February–April 2016 The Commonwealth Fund, August 2016.
  2. US Census Bureau. Quick Facts: United States. Retrieved April 25, 2016, from http://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045215/00.
  3.  AAMC.  Section II: Current Status of the U.S. Physician Workforce. Retrieved April 25, 2016, from http://aamcdiversityfactsandfigures.org/section-ii-current-status-of-us-physician-workforce/.