A round up of recent articles, reports, and issue briefs examining disparities and inequities in health care:
- Race, Racism, Civil Rights Law, And The Equitable Allocation Of Scarce COVID-19 Treatments: February 2022 Health Affairs article examining Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommendations that clinicians use race and ethnicity, among other factors, to guide allocation and use of novel monoclonal antibodies for COVID-19 treatment. The article calls for “[s]tate and federal policymakers . . . be intentional about advancing pharmacoequity. Guidelines should clearly indicate that race is being used as a proxy for racism (i.e., as a “risk marker”).”
- House Appropriations Bills Take Steps to Use the Federal Budget as a Tool for Antiracism: February 2022 Center on Budget and Policy Priorities report focuses on three areas where funding increases in appropriations bills for fiscal year 2022 approved by the House Appropriations Committee would take important steps to support antiracist policies: K-12 funding for students from low-income backgrounds, enforcement of federal civil rights laws, and legal services for people with low incomes. The report states that “. . .these investments would have broad-based impacts, providing protections and opportunities for many people and communities, including people of color, people with disabilities, and people with low incomes living in rural and urban communities alike.”
- How Health Care Coverage Expansions Can Address Racial Equity: February 2022 The Commonwealth Fund article explains that in addition to promoting health equity, health insurance coverage is associated with improved mortality outcomes, reduced poverty, and protection from financial debt. Three policies are explored that would promote “a stronger and more equitable health insurance system,” which are: continuous postpartum coverage in Medicaid, providing coverage to individuals in the Medicaid expansion gap, and extending the increase in marketplace premium subsidies under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
- Despite Improvements, Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Cancer Mortality Rates Persist: February 2022 KFF article notes that overall cancer death rates have decreased for all racial and ethnic groups, with Black people experiencing the largest reduction. Despite these encouraging statistics, however, Black people still have the highest cancer mortality rates when compared to other populations. One reason attributed for this disparity is a diagnosis of disease occurring at a later stage. KFF also has a new brief on racial disparities in cancer outcomes, screening, and treatment.
The Center for Medicare Advocacy will add to this list as new reports become available.