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A Healthcare Crime That Needs to be Solved

Dr. Willie Underwood says health policy changes must assure that everyone has equal access to healthcare.

Dr. Willie Underwood, a Buffalo, NY urologist and member of the American Medical Association (AMA) Board of Trustees, says the ongoing political debate over healthcare must include finding a way to make medical care equally available to everyone, regardless of race.

"We need to make sure that the health system works for the rich and the poor," said Dr. Underwood in an interview with Not Fake News. "Your economic status, what you are born into, should not limit your quality of life."

According to Dr. Underwood, black poor people have a life expectancy that is 10 -12 years shorter than whites, and, he says, it appears that the same is true for Hispanics.

"That is wrong and somewhat criminal in a society that is wealthy as ours," Dr. Underwood declared. "These are things we need to address...fair and equitable quality of care."

Dr. Underwood pointed out that health is a an important component of the nation's productivity. "You are only as strong as our weakest link," he said.

Tragically, Dr. Underwood said that in Buffalo there are five zip codes where the mortality rate from disease is 300 percent higher than the rest of Erie county and New York state, and those zip codes, of course are home to majority black residents.

"You have a medical school, a law school, a schnool of public health, business school, a dental school," he said, "yet there is no strategic plan to fix it. These are some of the things we have to address."

Added Dr. Underwood, "We can send people to the moon and probes to mars. We can do whatever we want to do. So we can fix that. As providers, as a healthcare network, we need to be working on it. I think if we do, we will be a stronger nation for it."

Editor's note: The above video includes Dr. Underwood's comments on this topic as expressed in my interview with him, which also includes my notes as that conversation unfolded.

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Jackie Cristiano
Jackie Cristiano
Aug 13, 2019

This should never be in the United States! Everyone needs healthcare and proper medical access. This country has so much money to spend on things that aren't Really needed but wanted. So why don't we spend the money on things that people need to survive!Everyone body needs a safe home to live and raise their families. They also need to be able to afford healthy food for those families and and education for their children! This is just common sense, so let's help our own before we help those in other countries/


This is such an important issue. Every child and adult deserves the best healthcare we can provide-not just those with sufficient income. I did not realize the life expectancy of low income individuals was so much lower and that is an eye opener! The more information we have the better.

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