While we didn’t need a world-class health crisis to know this, inequities in the U.S. health care system have become profoundly evident over the past year and a half.
We have talked about the economic inequities, the fact that Latinos do not have the privilege of staying home during confinement, the distrust of the health care system, and the racism that manifests itself in the nooks and crannies of information.
However, we never would have imagined that another layer of this disaster would directly impact our children.
According to an analysis by the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute’s Center for Children and Families, twice as many Latino children are uninsured as non-Latinos.
The rate of uninsured Latino children reached 9.3 percent in 2019, compared with 4.4 percent of non-Latino youth the same year, according to the analysis dated June 8.
The uninsured rate increased 1.6 percent between 2016 and 2019 among Latino children, compared with a 0.7 percent increase for non-Latino youth.
In 2019, there were 1.83 million uninsured Latino children in the country, increasing 354,400 since 2016.
Uninsured Latino children were 2.5 times higher in states that did not implement Medicaid expansion in 2019, compared to states that did implement the expansion. Still, the uninsured rate for non-Latino children in these states with expanded Medicaid was 1.5 times higher.
The study authors noted that the number of uninsured Latino children likely worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic. Latino adults participate in the labor force at higher rates than the national average but are less likely to have jobs with employer-sponsored health insurance.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that the Latino population is 1.9 times more likely to contract COVID-19, 2.8 times more likely to be hospitalized with the virus, and 2.3 times more likely to die from the disease.
Finally, according to CDC figures, more than one-third of children who have died from the coronavirus were Hispanic or Latino.
As coverage of children worsens, the economic situation of parents faces a difficult outlook for future recovery.