Apr 17, 2021 - Health

5. Less health insurance and more chronic disease

Photo illustration of a doctor's hands measuring the blood pressure of a patient

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela. Photo: H. Armstrong Roberts/ClassicStock/Getty Images

While the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed serious disparities in access to health care, those differences were baked deep into the American health system long before the coronavirus came along.

Why it matters: These systemic disparities are partly why people of color are more likely to be uninsured and face increased risks for certain chronic conditions — and even have shorter life expectancies.

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