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Capitol Correspondence - 11.03.20

Big Picture: Racial Equity in Health Care

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During our 2020 Policy Summit in early October, ANCOR hosted sessions discussing how to engage meaningfully with issues of racial equity. These conversations were well-received, indicating many of our members are grappling with issues of racial equity and eager for ANCOR to facilitate further dialogue. In the spirit of supporting our members to engage further, we are sharing articles that may be of interest on these topics and will be sharing ANCOR-developed content in coming months.

Two resources that complement one another are this article by Politico Pulse highlighting how legal challenges to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) could disproportionately reverse health care gains in minority communities, along with this webinar recording by County Health Rankings on building equitable networks, which includes a discussion of health networks.

As reported by Politico Pulse:

“The legal effort to wipe out Obamacare would also reverse hard-won coverage gains among minorities if successful — dealing a blow to communities already disproportionately affected by Covid-19, POLITICO’s Gabrielle Wanneh, Dan Goldberg and Susannah Luthi report.

The uninsured rate for minorities has dropped more significantly under Obamacare than at any time since the passage of Medicare and Medicaid and the desegregation of American hospitals more than 50 years ago. That includes a decrease in the rate of Latinx adults without insurance from 40 percent to 25, and a reduction for Black adults from 24 percent to 14.

— With the Affordable Care Act, those figures would rise once again. An Urban Institute estimate in 2019 projected the racial gap in health coverage would widen almost to 2013 levels, before the Obamacare markets opened and Medicaid expansion began. Those in the 38 states that have expanded Medicaid would be hit especially hard.

Obamacare advocates also worry that striking down the law would saddle communities of color with rising health costs. The percentage of minorities who reported avoiding care because of cost has declined since 2013. But more than 60 percent of nonwhite adults still say they’re fearful one major health event could bankrupt them.”

While the fate of the ACA now rests in hands of the Supreme Court, providers and their networks can still take positive steps to improve equity in their networks. The County Health Rankings recording linked above discusses how to engage others in collaborative experiences that are diverse, inclusive, engaged and committed to equity. It does so by going over:

  • What is a network?
  • How do they operate?
  • What role do they play in health improvement?
  • How do you lead with equity in a network environment?
  • Tools to help your partners begin takings steps with this critical process.