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J Natl Med Assoc. 1993 Apr;85(4):281-8.

Barriers to medical care for white, black, and Hispanic American children.

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University of Maryland, School of Social Work, Baltimore 21201.


As demonstrated by efforts to expand Medicaid coverage for poor and needy children, removing barriers to medical care continues to be an important social policy goal. Data from the 1987 National Medical Expenditure Survey, a multistage probability sample of 15,000 US households, was used to examine some of the barriers that black and Hispanic children encounter in obtaining access to medical care. Results from the 1987 study indicate that black and Hispanic children were more likely than white children to be poor, uninsured members of single-parent households, and to have to wait longer to see a medical provider. Yet differences in waiting time at the usual source of care remained after controlling for insurance. In 1987, 18.6% of uninsured white children were without a usual source of care compared with 28.4% and 25.2% of uninsured black and Hispanic children, respectively. Furthermore, 17.6% of uninsured white children made at least one routine visit to a physician during 1987, while only 11.4% and 10.6% of the uninsured black and Hispanic children, respectively, saw a physician for a regular checkup.

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