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Neighborhoods that lack access to nutritious foods are also referred to as food deserts.56 The ten U.S. counties with the highest food insecurity rates are all at least 60 percent African-American.57 African Americans experience hunger at twice the rate of white Americans, including one in four African-American children.58 Hunger can also lead to chronic illness and has been associated with low-birth weight, diabetes, cancer, pregnancy complications, and mental distress.59, Housing and neighborhood safety are also important economic indicators that can impact health. These plans essentially build upon the ACA by adding a new option available to those seeking coverage. Unfortunately, far too many African Americans have to grapple with neighborhood violence and environmental factors (such as a lack of clean water, exposure to lead paint, and pollution) that can negatively impact both their mental and physical health. Additionally, there is a tort called “infliction of severe emotional distress,” which requires (a) an action taken by the defendant (b) which was reasonably foreseeable to cause severe distress; and (c) that it did in fact cause severe emotional distress. When it comes to accumulating wealth, the numbers are even more grim—white families now have approximately ten times the wealth of African-American families, on average.53 (See Figure 5.) Of these underinsured adults, 18 percent are African-American.11. Unfortunately, current health reform plans fall short in adequately addressing racism in the health care system. https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/09/politics/gallup-private-health-insurance-satisfaction/index.html. If he has used these phrases, write him a letter, preferably through an attorney, and use the words “abandonment,” defamation” and “emotional distress” if the attorney confirms that they are appropriately used in your state. According to a study published in the journal of Psychoneuroendocrinology, racist experiences bring on an increase in inflammation in African Americans.38 This increase in inflammation raises the risk of becoming chronically ill. These programs are often lifelines for marginalized communities and they disproportionately serve people of color. Policymakers should also build on the essential health benefits package to include important health care services currently omitted, such as long-term care and dental care. File a Complaint with the State Medical Board. Food insecurity is also an issue affecting many African Americans and has important implications for health outcomes and economic well-being. Let the physician know if you need to “violate” one of the contract rules-such as requesting early refills so that you can go out of town or increase the dose in a time of particularly serious pain.

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