A Protest by Senators on Health Algorithm Biased Against the Black People

An analysis has been made through protest study, and it shows that black people are discriminated against in the 21st century. This was achieved by counting the cost incurred by black people when they are treated for their illness. However, Senator Cory Booker stated that formulas that shape other services and healthcare contain a lot of historical and human biases built in them. However, an academic study questioned whether the software could bring about bias with regards to race in the US health care system. The results showed that when it comes to the treatment of some diseases such as diabetes, there is prioritization in getting access to additional aid. Hence, there is favoritism for white patients over black patients. Senate colleague Ron Wyden, Senator Cory Booker, and Democratic presidential candidates are now pressing for an answer.

Letters were written on Tuesday by Wyden together with Booker. According to Wired.com, the letters were addressed to the Federal Trade Commission and centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services requesting the agencies to check on how they can overcome the issue of racial discrimination in the health care algorithms. Moreover, they went ahead to ask the FTC to inspect decision-making algorithms and whether they discriminate against the marginalized societies. Another group of lawmakers wrote their letter to the five largest healthcare firms, requesting for internal security over racial discrimination in their technology. Nevertheless, there other factors that provoked Wyden and Booker to write their letters. The study indicates that they noted that there was a lot of unfairness in the output of patient management software that was from the United Health subsidiary Optum. It is meant to foretell the needs of the health care of about 70 million patients across the US.

Wyden and Booker are not the first people who are suggesting that the results need government intervention. Moreover, financial services regulators and New York state`s health wrote down a letter addressing it to the United Health cautioning them on the discrimination results. This was because the results are unlawful in New York. However, around April, a Senate bill known as the Algorithmic Accountability Act was initiated by Wyden and Booker. The law was meant to request organizations that are using automation in their decision making to examine any technology that would be discriminative. Besides, a version in the house is pioneered by a US representative Yvette Clarke. Obermeyer printed his results together with researchers coming from the University of Brigham and Massachusetts General hospitals. The writers declared that they would work together with the health systems to remove bias in the health care algorithms.

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