Racial Equity and Health Policy

Racial Disparities in COVID-19 Impacts and Vaccinations for Children

COVID-19 has disproportionately negatively affected the physical and mental health, academic growth, and economic security of children of color. At the same time, the limited data available to date suggest some children of color may be less likely to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, leaving them at elevated risk as the virus continues to spread and …

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Extreme Heat and Racial Health Equity

During the summer, the United States reported record extreme heat events across the country. While extreme heat and other hazardous weather events have implications for everyone, growing research shows that they disproportionately affect low-income people and people of color due to underlying social inequities and structural discrimination.

Medicaid Authorities and Options to Address Social Determinants of Health (SDOH)

Extensive research and the pandemic have elevated the importance of addressing social determinants of health (SDOH) to improve health and reduce longstanding disparities in health and health care. Social determinants of health include factors like socioeconomic status, education, neighborhood and physical environment, employment, and social support networks, as well as access to health care. This …

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Health Coverage by Race and Ethnicity, 2010-2019

People of color have faced longstanding disparities in health coverage that contribute to disparities in health. This brief examines trends in health coverage by race/ethnicity between 2010 through 2019, prior to the onset of the COVID-19, and discusses the implications for health disparities. It is based on KFF analysis of American Community Survey data for …

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Health and Health Care Experiences of Hispanic Adults

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated longstanding underlying disparities in health and health care facing Hispanic people. Using data from the COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor, this report provides insights into the health care experiences of Hispanic adults and examines how they vary by key factors, including insurance and immigration status.

New Analysis: In Pursuit of a National Vaccination Benchmark, Hispanic and Black People’s Rates Projected to Lag Behind

Much attention has focused on President Biden’s stated goal of vaccinating 70% of U.S. adults by July 4th. While achieving a high overall vaccination rate is important for recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, a new analysis of people ages 12 and older—a different population than President Biden’s goal, but one that is currently eligible for…More

June 18 Web Event: Asian Immigrant Experiences with Racism, Immigration-related Fears, and the COVID-19 Pandemic

While the country has collectively experienced health and economic difficulties with the COVID-19 pandemic, certain groups have experienced a disproportionate impact. The Asian American community has had to cope with the burden of pandemic-related racism and, as one of the fastest growing immigrant communities in the nation, immigration-related fears due to policy and regulatory action…More

Recent and Anticipated Actions to Reverse Trump Administration Section 1557 Non-Discrimination Rules

The Biden Administration has started taking steps to reverse Trump Administration policy and regulations that significantly narrowed the implementation and administrative enforcement of Section 1557, the Affordable Care Act’s nondiscrimination provision, particularly as the regulations apply to gender identity and sexual orientation. In addition, several lawsuits challenging the regulations, which were initially issued by the…More

Are Health Centers Facilitating Equitable Access to COVID-19 Vaccinations? A June 2021 Update.

This analysis updates earlier work and examines the extent to which vaccination efforts through community health centers are reaching people of color using data from the federal government’s weekly Health Center COVID-19 Survey. We include data from the survey weeks of January 8 through May 21, 2021, finding that people of color made up the …

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New Campaign from THE CONVERSATION / LA CONVERSACIÓN Responds to Information Needs about COVID-19 Vaccines Among Latinos and Spanish-speaking People in U.S.

News Release May 20, 2021 – THE CONVERSATION / LA CONVERSACIÓN expands to address information needs about the COVID-19 vaccines in the Latinx community with new videos featuring doctors, nurses and promotoras (community health workers) in English and Spanish. This installment of the campaign is produced by KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation) under its Greater Than…More

Nueva campaña de THE CONVERSATION/LA CONVERSACIÓN responde a las necesidades de información sobre las vacunas para COVID-19 entre latinos e hispanohablantes en los Estados Unidos.

May 20, 2021 – THE CONVERSATION/LA CONVERSACIÓN se expande para abordar las necesidades de información sobre las vacunas contra el COVID-19 en la comunidad latina con nuevos videos protagonizados por médicos, enfermeras y promotoras (trabajadoras de salud comunitarias) en inglés y español. Esta entrega de la campaña es producida por KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation) a…More

How Employer Actions Could Facilitate Equity in COVID-19 Vaccinations

Providing paid time off to employees to get and recover from any side effects could help boost vaccination rates. Overall, nearly three in ten (28%) employed adults who not yet ready to get the vaccine say that they would be more likely to get the COVID-19 vaccine if their employer gave them paid time off …

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May 20 Web Event: Latinos and the Nation’s COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout

New Campaign from THE CONVERSATION / LA CONVERSACIÓN to Address Information Needs in the Community Join KFF and UnidosUS for an interactive web event on Thursday, May 20th for the latest insights on what is working and what barriers must be overcome in ensuring equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccines for Latinos in the U.S.,…More

KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor: COVID-19 Vaccine Access, Information, and Experiences Among Hispanic Adults in the U.S.

This report from the KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor examines vaccine attitudes and experiences among Hispanic adults in the U.S., including key groups such as those with lower incomes, the uninsured, and those who are potentially undocumented. It finds that many unvaccinated Hispanic adults are eager to get a COVID-19 vaccine, and barriers to access include …

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Disparities in Health and Health Care: 5 Key Questions and Answers

Disparities in health and health care for people of color and underserved groups are longstanding challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these disparities and heightened the importance of addressing them. Health disparities are driven by underlying social and economic inequities that are rooted in racism. Addressing disparities is important not only from a social justice …

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Are Health Centers Facilitating Equitable Access to COVID-19 Vaccinations? An April 2021 Update.

This analysis updates earlier work and examines the extent to which vaccination efforts through community health centers are reaching people of color using data from the federal government’s weekly Health Center COVID-19 Survey. We include data from the survey weeks of January 8 through April 2, 2021, finding that people of color made up the …

Are Health Centers Facilitating Equitable Access to COVID-19 Vaccinations? An April 2021 Update. Read More »

Early COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts Through Community Health Centers Are Reaching People of Color

More than half of those who received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine through a community health center were people of color, suggesting that health centers appear to be doing a better job of reaching people of color than are overall vaccination efforts, finds a new KFF analysis. People of color accounted for 54 percent…More

How are States Addressing Racial Equity in COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts?

This brief reviews information available through state websites and publicly available vaccine distribution plans to provide greater insight into how states are addressing equity through vaccine allocation and distribution strategies, outreach and communications efforts, and data collection and reporting. It provides a snapshot and examples of state efforts in these areas.

THE CONVERSATION: Between Us, About Us, A New Campaign By Black Health Care Workers for Black People about the COVID-19 Vaccines

March 4, 2021 – THE CONVERSATION: Between Us, About Us. is a new campaign to provide Black communities with credible information about the COVID-19 vaccines co-developed by KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation) and the Black Coalition Against COVID. Black doctors, nurses and researchers dispel misinformation and provide accessible facts in 50 FAQ videos that deliver the…More

Growing Gaps in COVID-19 Vaccinations among Hispanic People

This policy watch piece highlights the potential challenges surrounding COVID-19 vaccinations among Hispanic people, whose health and finances have been extremely hard hit by the pandemic. Low rates of vaccination among Hispanic people would leave them at increased risk for the virus, could further widen existing health disparities, and would leave gaps that hinder our …

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New Analysis: Updated State Data Continues To Show Wide Disparities in COVID-19 Vaccination Rates by Race/Ethnicity

KFF has an updated analysis of state-reported data as of February 16, 2021 on COVID-19 vaccinations, cases, and deaths by race/ethnicity. New to the analysis are comparisons of vaccination rates in each racial/ethnic group based on state-reported data of total people who have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Among just over half…More

The COVID-19 Pandemic Has Hit People of Color the Hardest, Including Among People With Medicare

The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the stark racial and ethnic health inequities in the U.S., including among Medicare beneficiaries. Among this group, people of color, including older adults and others on Medicare, account for disproportionate shares of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths, according to data presented in a new KFF report about racial and ethnic…More

Does Education Narrow the Gap in Wealth Among Older Adults, by Race and Ethnicity?

Differences in median per capita income among White, Black, and Hispanic adults ages 65 and older are narrower when comparing people with similar levels of education, although among college graduates, the gap in income continues to be wide between Hispanic and White seniors. The gaps in savings and home equity remain wide, and are particularly …

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Data as of February 1 on State Vaccinations by Race/Ethnicity

Updated analysis of state-reported data as of February 1, 2021 on COVID-19 vaccinations, cases, and deaths by race/ethnicity is now available. Based on nearly half of states reporting vaccination data by race/ethnicity, Black and Hispanic people continue to receive smaller shares of vaccinations compared to their shares of cases and deaths and compared to their…More

Vaccine Monitor: Nearly Half of the Public Wants to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine as Soon as They Can or Has Already Been Vaccinated, Up across Racial and Ethnic Groups Since December

Most Convincing Messages to Promote Vaccination Highlight Effectiveness at Preventing Illness and a Return to Normal Life; Hearing about Rare Allergic Reactions and Side Effects May Discourage Some New KFF Dashboard Features Key Data and Insights from the Vaccine Monitor With millions of Americans getting their first COVID-19 vaccinations, the public’s eagerness to get a…More

Racial Diversity within COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Trials: Key Questions and Answers

This brief reviews why racial diversity within COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials is important, discusses the barriers to participation in clinical trials among people of color, and examines the racial/ethnic composition of clinical trial participants for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.

Most Hispanic Adults Lean Towards Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine, But Many Younger Adults are Hesitant

A new analysis of KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor survey data finds that most Hispanic adults across the country want to get a COVID-19 vaccine at some point though younger adults are more hesitant, in part because of lower confidence that it is safe and effective. Overall a quarter (26%) of Hispanic adults say they will…More

Get Ready for a Lot of Biden Executive Orders on Health Care

In this column for the JAMA Health Forum, Larry Levitt explores what President-elect Biden might do to advance his health care vision both through legislation and through executive orders and waivers and demonstrations.

KFF Launches New COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor to Track the Public’s Confidence in the Vaccine and Experiences for the Duration of the Pandemic

Republicans and Black Americans are More Likely to Be Hesitant but Even Among These Groups Reasons Vary KFF has launched a new COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor to dive deeply into the public’s views about the vaccine and experiences getting it for as long as the pandemic lasts. First results released today show that Americans’ enthusiasm for…More

KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor: December 2020

This initial survey for the KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor tracks the public’s attitudes and experiences with COVID-19 vaccinations, with a focus on sub-groups of Americans. It explores confidence in vaccines, assesses trust in messengers, and highlights key challenges for vaccination efforts.

Potential Health Policy Administrative Actions Under President Biden

This brief outlines the potential health policy actions that President Biden could take using executive authority, based on campaign pledges, and actions that would reverse or modify regulations or guidance issued by the Trump Administration.

December 11 Web Briefing: Racism and Discrimination in Health Care – Experiences Today and Actions to Address Going Forward

Approaching the end of 2020, two of the most pressing concerns facing the country are the long-standing issue of racial discrimination and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The issues have merged with the pandemic taking a disproportionate health and economic toll on people of color. As vaccines become available, prioritizing racial equity will become increasingly important…More

New Brief Examines COVID-19 Risks and Impacts for Health Care Workers by Race and Ethnicity

New coronavirus cases in the United States have hit daily records multiple times in the past week and hospitalizations are rising in several areas of the country. Health care workers face some of the greatest risk of exposure to the coronavirus and a new KFF brief examines the composition of the workforce and how the…More

Wide Variations in Flu Vaccination Rates Across States Highlight Challenges as State and Local Authorities Plan to Distribute a COVID-19 Vaccine

When a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available, all or most people living in the country will need to get vaccinated in order to maximize its benefits and provide adequate immunity nationwide. That could present a daunting challenge for state and local health officials, as a new KFF analysis shows vaccination rates for the annual flu vaccine…More

The COVID-19 Pandemic Has Taken a Higher Toll on Nursing Homes with Relatively High Shares of Black or Hispanic Residents

Nursing homes with a relatively high share of Black or Hispanic residents are more likely to have had a resident die of COVID-19 than homes with lower shares of such residents, finds a new KFF analysis. Nationwide, 63 percent of nursing homes with a relatively high share of Black residents reported one or more COVID-19…More

Racial and Ethnic Disparities in COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in Nursing Homes

This data note presents national data that shows that nursing homes with a high share of Black or Hispanic residents were more likely to have at least one coronavirus case, at least one COVID-19 death, and (among facilities with cases) more severe case outbreaks than facilities with a low share of Black or Hispanic residents. …

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Health Policy Resources for Covering the 2020 Elections

As the 2020 Election Day approaches, many candidates continue to focus on health care issues, including on the public health and economic response to COVID-19, the future of the Affordable Care Act, health care costs and abortion. To help reporters understand and cover these issues, KFF offers independent, non-partisan policy analysis, polling and other research and…More

A Reconfigured U.S. Supreme Court: Implications for Health Policy

U.S. Supreme Court decisions shape health policy in important ways. The nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, if confirmed, is expected to establish a solid 6:3 conservative majority that could affect case outcomes in several areas. This issue brief considers the potential implications of a reconfigured Court for health policy issues, including those already on …

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