Introduction

Vulnerable populations encompass racial and ethnic minorities, economically disadvantaged, homeless, the elderly, those with HIV, as well as those with other chronic health conditions such as severe mental illnesses (“Vulnerable populations,” 2006). In addition, individuals in remote areas who encounter barriers while accessing healthcare services are part of vulnerable populations. Mainly, aspects such as ethnicity, age, race, sex, income, lack of basic care and insurance coverage enhance the vulnerability of individuals. This section reviews Hispanic population as a vulnerable population in the US using Vulnerable Population Conceptual Model (VPCM).

Description of the Population

Hispanic (or Latino) ethnicity is an individual of Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Central or South American, or any other person with Spanish origin or culture irrespective of the race. Based on 2013 estimates, Hispanic community constitutes the largest minority population in the US with 54 million people or 17% the entire population (“Hispanics in the US,” 2015). The largest populations of Hispanic people live in states such as California, Arizona, Illinois, Texas, New Mexico, New York, Colorado, New Jersey, and Florida.

Vulnerable Population Conceptual Model (VPCM)

Resource Availability

Based on 2014 estimates, 23.6% (13.1 million) of Hispanics in comparison to 10.1% of non-Hispanic whites live in poverty (US Census Bureau, 2015). On a different vein, the average income of Hispanics as per 2014 estimates is $42,491, which is an increment as per 2013 estimates ($40,337). Regarding health insurance coverage, 25% of Hispanics do have access to health insurance cover (Krogstad & Lopez, 2014). Among those without health insurance cover, 6 million Hispanics are US born, while 7 million are immigrants.

Hispanic populations encounter education issues analogous to other minority communities. Statistically, only about one-half of Hispanic students get high school diploma. On the other, out of students who complete high school, only 50% of Hispanic students are prepared to go to college (The White House, 2011). Again, only 13% of Hispanics possess a bachelor’s degree. Interestingly, only 4% of Hispanics have managed to complete professional degree programs.

Relative Risks

Hispanic communities demonstrate considerably high rates of crime, abuse, and violence than whites but lower than blacks. Statistically, children maltreatment among the Hispanics is 8.5 per 1,000 children compared to 8.1 among the whites and 14.6 among the blacks (Sumner et al., 2015). Again, the female-to-male partner violence (FMPV) and male-to-female partner violence (MFPV) rates are high among Hispanic communities compared to whites. Notably, the rate of rape among Hispanics is 18.4% compared to 14.6% among the whites (Caetano, Field, Ramisetty-Mikler, & Lipsky, 2009). On the other hand, the rate of physical assault is 51.8% compared to 53.2% among the whites.

Hispanics tend to be obese and overweight. As a result, Hispanics adjusted rate of obesity is 42.5%, in comparison to 32.6% of the whites and 47.8% of the blacks (Center for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2015). Notably, such biological conditions tend to cause other chronic and clinic conditions such as stroke, heart diseases, diabetes, certain types of cancer and hypertension.

Health Status

The infant mortality rate and morbidity rate of Hispanic population have declined over the years. Notably, between 2005 and 2010, the infant deaths per 1,000 live births declined from 5.62 to 5.25 among the Hispanic women (CDC, 2014). The mortality rate of Hispanic communities is associated with poisoning, suicide, cancer, chronic liver diseases, and diabetes. On morbidity rate, Hispanics are twice likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than non-Hispanic white. Besides, Hispanics are 40% more likely to succumb to death because of diabetes compared to non-Hispanic whites.

Conclusion

Hispanic community, which constitutes 54 million of the US population, is a vulnerable population. Particularly, almost one-quarter of the Hispanic population live in poverty. In turn, about 25% of the Hispanic population is unable to have access to the health insurance coverage. Again, more about one-half of the Hispanic community is semi- illiterate in that about 50% only of Hispanic students attain high school diploma. On relative risks, the Hispanic population has relatively high rates of abuse, crime, and violence regarding children maltreatment, rape, and me to women violence. Further, Hispanics have a high tendency of being obese and overweight, which is statistically rated at 42.5%. Notably, the rate of mortality rate is relatively small when compared to other minority groups especially blacks. On the other hand, Hispanics are prone to diabetes, and it is one of their primary cause of death.

Beveridge Model

It is named after Lord Beveridge (Hoffman, 2010). Financing of this model emanates from state budget through tax payments. Healthcare coverage under this model is universal; thus, available to all citizens. In particular, the government provides and finances the entire health care (Milionis, 2013). Besides, the operations of the national health systems are subjected to state control. Notably, the government owns some hospitals and clinics. Further, the government controls the fee and activities of doctors. Britain health system uses Beveridge model.

Bismarck Model

It is named after Otto von Bismarck. Bismarck model relies on social insurance system (Milionis, 2013). In most cases, employees and employers jointly finance this system. Notably, this model is not meant for profit gains like the case of US insurance industry. In Bismarck model, the health care system is intended for all citizens. Further, the government does not own hospitals and clinics. Besides, doctors practice privately. Germany, Netherlands, and Switzerland health systems use Bismarck model (Hoffman, 2010).

Out of Pocket Model

In out of pocket model, the funding emanates “directly from private personal or family expenses” (Milionis, 2013, p. 18). Notably, the demand and supply forces of health products and services determine the charges or costs. In other words, out of pocket model favors individuals with money in that the more the money, the better the health products, and services (Wallace, 2013). In this regard, out of pocket model is expensive and discriminative. Out of pocket model is prevalent in African countries.

National Health Insurance Model

The national health insurance model combines both Bismarck and Beveridge models. It relies on private sector providers, but the government-run insurance program makes payments (Wallace, 2013). Notably, all citizens fund the government-run insurance program through tax or premium. Usually, national health insurance model tends to have lower administrative costs and less expensive in comparison to the American health system which rely on for-profit insurance plans (Wallace, 2013). Canada health system embraces national health insurance model.

The Future of Healthcare in the US

I believe that the national health insurance model is the future of health care in the US. As the model combines both Bismarck and Beveridge models, it will reach a large number of Americans. Notably, the national health insurance model is cheap due to lower administrative costs and less expensive because it not based on profit insurance plans. In this regard, US should rely on the national health insurance model as it will remove costs associated with profit based insurance plans hence make the service available and cheaper to many Americans.

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