A report from the Iowa Citizen Action Network concludes the current health care system is discriminating against minorities.
State Senator Jack Hatch, a Democrat from Des Moines who is leading a White House group of state legislators working on health care reform, says a government-run "public option" is crucial if minorities are to get insurance coverage.
"The insurance company is not marketing to the uninsured. They’re not marketing to the low income and so a public option insurance plan is the only way for minority communities and lower income Iowans to have a choice and the option of being covered."
According to Hatch, minorities have fewer options when it comes to getting insurance.
"Their unemployment rate is higher and their jobs usually aren’t covered by health care benefit packages," Hatch says, "so by the very culture of the economics, minority communities have a disproportionate share of insurance options."
Hatch represents an area of Des Moines which has a high minority population. Hatch apologized earlier this year for using a racially-charged word as he talked with a fellow lawmaker, using the n-word to express frustration with legislative leaders.