On April 21, the Commonwealth Fund released its report on "Universal Health Care as a Health Disparity Intervention." The study found that universal health insurance and improved access to care helps to reduce socioeconomic differences in chronic disease control.
The report finds that "ensuring that adults under age 65 have health coverage may reduce racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic differences in health outcomes for cardiovascular disease and diabetes."
While overall control of control of diabetes and cardiovascular disease has improved from 1999 to 2006, there are continuing disparities between racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups. The study found that these disparities were reduced in Medicare-eligible populations. "With near-universal Medicare coverage after age 65 years, differences in systolic blood pressure, hemoglobin A1c levels, or total cholesterol levels reduced substantially. These reductions may substantially decrease racial and socioeconomic differences in mortality as well."