This analysis estimates cost burdens of racial and ethnic disparities in a select set of preventable diseases including diabetes, hypertension and stroke. Excess rates of these diseases among African Americans and Latinos relative to whites will cost the health care system $23.9 billion dollars in 2009. Medicare alone will spend an extra $15.6 billion, and private insurers will spend an extra $5.1 billion. Over the next decade, the total cost is approximately $337 billion. Left unchecked, these annual costs will more than double by 2050 as the representation of Latinos and African Americans among the elderly increases.
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