Steven Woolf, David Satcher, and others estimated that from 1991 to 2000, medical advances averted 176,000 deaths, but equalizing mortality rates between whites and African-Americans would have averted 886,202 deaths. Am J Pul Hlt 2004;94:2078.
The most enlightening new account is Doug Massey’s on the history of how and why the US failed to temper the sharp inequalities and poverty that capitalism brings, while other countries did. European Socio Review 2009:25:9-23. Try http://www.brynmawr.edu/Acads/GSSW/schram/masseyglobal.pdf.
The term, “health disparities,” pushes clear thinking about inequality, racism, and discrimination into a vague soup. It’s a term we should stop using, like “wellness” which also depoliticizes and beclouds illness, injury and their harsh consequences by focusing on an upper middle class professional view of subjective well-being.
[Source: communique from Donald W. Light]