Two out of five Latinos have had problems accessing health care during the COVID-19 pandemic
A new report from H Code Media shows the weight of health care in the Hispanic community during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Long before the Coronavirus pandemic hit the United States, Latinos in the country have consistently made it clear that one of their most urgent priorities is quality and access to health care.
However, once the virus disproportionately impacted communities of color, health care awareness became more imperative.
Last Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new detailed data showing how, although Blacks and Latinos make up only 13 and 18 percent of the U.S. population, respectively they have accounted for 22 and 33 percent of the recently confirmed government coronavirus tests, according to Newsweek.
However, these figures are probably not entirely conclusive, considering that, of the 1,320,488 coronavirus tests in the CDC data set, only 45% contained information on the race or ethnicity of each patient evaluated, the media added.
That's why H Code Media, one of the few advertising entities focused on the Hispanic market, has drawn on its database to conduct a comprehensive study on the true impact of the virus on the Latinx community, as well as the flaws in the U.S. health care system.
In April 2020, the H Code Intelligence Center conducted what they called the Hispanic Health Study, surveying more than 1,200 English and Spanish-dominant Hispanics across the country to "gauge community opinion" on health and attempt to shed light on the true impact of COVID-19.
"Our mission is to deliver trustworthy and accurate information to and about the U.S. Hispanic community,” the team said in email communication with AL DÍA. “The H Code Intelligence Center utilizes first-party data and validates both the respondent and data collected through secure channels.”
After surveying more than 1,200 Hispanics directly through the use of the Intelligence Center's proprietary panel, the agency found that 1/3 of the respondents had had problems accessing health care during the COVID-19 outbreak (39%); knew someone who had been unable to access health care due to the pandemic (29%), and knew other Hispanics who had died because they could not afford health care (27%).
Similarly, 36% of respondents who currently have no health care cite affordability as their main obstacle.
"The Hispanic community in the United States is growing rapidly and there is a lot of outdated information surrounding this powerful demographic," said Parker Morse, CEO of H Code. "I believe awareness of this powerful multicultural community is more important than ever, especially now as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupts American lives and business.”
This seems to be reflected in another of the study's findings, in which a majority of respondents (64%) believe that Vice President Joe Biden will improve Americans' health care, and 61% currently favor the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and, even more, think that the United States should make health care available at a lower cost.
"Studies and data have shown minority groups are disproportionately affected by illness and are more likely to lose healthcare coverage or live more years without health insurance than non-Hispanic whites," Morse added, noting how 67% of the Hispanic community feels underserved by the current health care system.
Contrary to what we might believe, Hispanics evaluated by H Code, mainly in California, Texas, Florida, and New York, offered a more or less homogeneous opinion on health care, far from the bipartisanship that tends to undermine Latino issues in the country.
According to the organization's findings, 76% of Hispanics surveyed in Florida, for example, were more likely to say that the current coronavirus pandemic has affected their view of federal health care than in the other states.
Similarly, Texans were also more likely to think that the government did not provide enough information about health care, at 41% compared to California (35%), Florida (27%), and New York (23%).
However, Texans and Floridians are not as supportive of the Affordable Care Act (56% and 54% respectively) as Californians (67%) and New Yorkers (63%).
Finally, it is clear that, when it comes to health care, the Hispanic community is much more complex than one might think; their priorities and those of their families do not distinguish between parties, as long as they are truly taken into account.