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Medicare for All addresses racial injustice

Written by Diane Archer

Our health care system disproportionately hurts people of color. African Americans and Latinx, in particular, struggle to get access to affordable health care. Corporate health insurers can’t provide good affordable coverage. Medicare for All would address this racial injustice.

Our market-based health care system has helped foster racial inequities in the US. Latinx and African Americans are more likely to be uninsured than white people. Today, nearly one in five Latinx (19 percent) are uninsured and more than one in ten African Americans (11.1 percent) are uninsured. About 7.3 percent of white people are uninsured.

Not surprisingly, almost a third of African American adults under 65 are in medical debt. They also struggle to afford needed health care, often delaying treatment.

Co-sponsors of Medicare for All legislation in Congress and policy experts spoke on Capitol Hill last week about how Medicare for All is critical for addressing racial biases in our health care system and promoting racial equality.

“We have a burden of our health care system that does disproportionately affect black and brown folks … and poor communities,” U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) said at the event. For example, today, African-Americans are three times more likely than whites to die in childbirth.

Back in July, the NAACP, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), United We Dream and seven other national organizations representing people of color sent a letter to Congress supporting Medicare for All. Medicare for All guarantees health care as a right. And, universal healthcare is “a racial justice necessity because communities of color, in particular, suffer from a lack of access to affordable health insurance.” Today, “racial bias mars the entirety of American healthcare.”

Here’s more from Just Care:

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