Healthcare Inequality Amongst Native Americans: The Newest Form of Genocide?

America has a prevalent issue of health inequalities through lack of a universal healthcare system and it is literally killing more people in our nation annually than all homicides combined. Amongst those most highly effected by this catastrophe are the people indigenous to this land. Although the Declaration declares, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal”(1) it is obvious that all men are not created equal. This “land of the free” treats it’s citizens disproportionately and this has a tremendous consequence for the health of many people. The World Health Organization focuses on the global effect of health inequities and defines them as, “avoidable inequalities in health between groups of people.” (2) Today, there are many reasons why our citizens and specifically, Native Americans, are dying from a lack of healthcare, finances, and medical support. In this blog post we will discuss how health inequities impact all Americans, how health inequities specifically harm Native Americans, and why this matters to health educators working for a healthier nation.

To understand this issue more closely, let's first take a look at how the healthcare system is negatively affecting all Americans. Approximately 20,000-45,000 deaths a year are due to lack of health insurance.(3) In addition, Harvard Medical School and