House Hearing Underscores Urgent Need for Congress to Address Racial Inequities Exposed by COVID-19

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 27, 2020

CONTACT:  Kathy Melley, Community Catalyst

(617) 791-0708

(BOSTON, MA) -- Today, the House Committee on Ways and Means held a hearing on “The Disproportionate Impact of COVID-19 on Communities of Color.” The coronavirus (COVID-19) is not affecting all people, communities, or states in the same way, and it is putting a spotlight on the deeply embedded racial and economic inequities that impact people’s health and well-being. As those who testified illustrated, people of color are being hit harder by the COVID-19 pandemic. They are more likely to be exposed to the virus, more likely to receive bills for care they cannot afford, and more likely to lose their jobs as a result of the economic crisis COVID-19 has caused. Community Catalyst submitted comments to the Committee, calling on Congress to advance racial equity by making coverage more affordable, improving access to high quality care and addressing the key factors that influence health outcomes.

Statement of Emily Stewart, executive director of Community Catalyst, regarding the hearing:

“Viruses don’t discriminate, but it’s become abundantly clear that the COVID-19 pandemic is having an alarming and outsized impact on people of color. Today’s House Ways and Means committee hearing put a sharper and much-needed focus on the longstanding, pervasive health and economic inequities at the root of the disproportionate toll the crisis is taking on communities of color. The compelling testimony heard today should serve as a clarion call for Congress to take urgent action to provide more equitable access to high quality, affordable health care and economic opportunity.”

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About Community Catalyst

Community Catalyst is a national, non-profit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1998 with the belief that affordable quality health care should be accessible to everyone. We work in partnership with national, state and local organizations, policymakers and philanthropic foundations to ensure consumer interests are represented wherever important decisions about health and the health system are made: in communities, statehouses and on Capitol Hill. For more information, visit www.communitycatalyst.org. Follow us on Twitter @HealthPolicyHub.