Diaz on Health Risks for Communities of Color

Sonja Diaz, executive director of the Latino Policy and Politics Initiative at UCLA Luskin, wrote an opinion piece for the Sacramento Bee arguing that the enormous demands placed on California’s health care system as it grapples with COVID-19 will magnify longstanding racial and ethnic health disparities. Diaz cited research showing that access to health care among California’s Latinos continues to lag behind other groups, and that the state’s physician pool is not diverse enough to adequately serve its population. As the coronavirus crisis continues, the number of uninsured is likely to rise as businesses shut down or lay off workers, possibly cutting off employer-provided health insurance. Diaz argued that the state must act quickly to protect the health of communities of color and those living in poverty. “Put plainly, our state’s most vulnerable will wait until they are at their absolute worst to seek care, which will likely result in unnecessary loss of life during this pandemic,” Diaz wrote.

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