242693 Health disparities, social justice, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA): Advancing human rights and social justice through law

Monday, October 31, 2011

Barbara L. Kornblau, JD, OTR/L , School of Health Professions, Division of Occupational Therapy, Florida A& M University, Arlington, VA
America's hospitals were integrated through the implementation of Medicare. While in theory, the Americans with Disabilities Act gave people with disabilities “access” to health care, the ADA has not shown an impact on the quality of care they receive. Though not as rapidly, implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has the potential to improve the health quality gap and make significant social changes for the disability community. ACA mentions racial and ethnic health disparities in the same sentences as disability disparities, making it the first law to acknowledge disability health disparities.. In addition to treating disability health disparities on par with racial and ethnic health disparities, ACA includes specific data collection provisions for people with disabilities geared to gather the evidence and data as a basis for improving their care as a population, since very little data currently exists. ACA also contains specific provisions to train health care provider in cultural competence. For the first time in law, “cultural competence” includes people with disabilities. This comes at a time when Healthy People 2020 also mentions disability disparities in the same breath as racial and ethnic disparities. This session analyzes sections of ACA that promote a reduction in health disparities on the basis of race, ethnic origin, and disability, focusing on the potential for social change by the inclusion of people with disabilities. Should the Supreme Court overturn ACA, the presentation will focus on opportunities and next steps to achieve parity in the elimination of disability disparities.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Ethics, professional and legal requirements
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
At the end of this session, attendees will be able to describe 3 methods in the Affordable Care Act (ACA)designed to improve disability health disparities and explain how they comports with Healthy People 2020

Keywords: Health Disparities, Access

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an attorney and former Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow who wrote language and advocated for the disability health disparities sections of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and served as a member of the Healthy People 2020 Consortium representing disability groups. I represented the disability community at the White House Roundtable on Health Disparities as part of the preparation for ACA.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.