May 29, 2020 - Health
Coronavirus' unequal economic toll
As the coronavirus pandemic wears on, almost half of all African American, Latino, and low-income Americans are having trouble paying their bills, including medical bills.
Why it matters: The findings from our latest KFF polling suggest that even if Congress’ relief efforts are helping, they’re not nearly enough.
By the numbers: Almost a third (31%) of the American people say they’ve experienced problems paying the rent or mortgage, or for food, utilities, credit card bills or medical costs as a result of the coronavirus.
- Among African-Americans, that number climbs to 48%. Among Latinos, it’s 46%.
- And 47% of households with an annual income below $40,000 say they’ve had trouble paying their bills because of the pandemic.
- 45% of black adults and 39% of Latinos say they’ve either skipped meals or relied on charity or government food programs such as SNAP since February — compared with just 18% of white adults. Most of those people said their experiences were a direct result of the coronavirus’ financial impact.
My thought bubble: This pain would surely be worse without Washington’s relief efforts. Even so, the hardship is real, and that strengthens the case for more aid and better targeting to the families that need it most.