Latinos, COVID and health care

In California, Latinos experienced a bigger drop in the rate of uninsured than any other racial or ethnic group following the health law’s implementation. Still, Latinos continue to have the state’s largest uninsured rate  — partly because Latinos make up most of the state’s undocumented community, who are not allowed coverage under the law. (Children and young adults up to age 26 can access the state’s Medi-Cal program, regardless of immigration status.)

Latinos also have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic. According to data from the Department of Public Health, Latinos make up 60% of the state’s coronavirus cases and almost half of related deaths, even though they are less than 40% of the state’s population. 

To complete the trifecta, Latinos, along with Blacks, also are more likely to be affected by COVID-induced layoffs

“The ACA covered millions of people and reduced the racial and ethnic disparities in health coverage in California,” researchers at the UC Berkeley Labor Center and UCLA Center for Health Policy Research wrote in a recent publication. “(T)o take away these coverage options especially during a global pandemic and recession would exacerbate racial and ethnic inequality in California.”