Daniel Dawes of the Morehouse School of Medicine discusses the place of health disparities in health reform. According to Dawes, there is an approximately thirty-year history of policymakers putting forth efforts to identify and address disparities. In the early 1980s, Health and Human Services Secretary Margaret Heckler established a task force on black and minority health, leading to the creation of an Office of Minority Health. In the 1990s, Congress appropriated money to research health disparities. These and other actions authorized additional reports which led to the inclusion of a health equity agenda in the health reform efforts of the 2000s. Today, says Dawes, cultural competency in healthcare delivery is required by law.

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