Aug 8, 2022 - Health

Inflation hikes causing delayed care for minorities: poll

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Inflation is making it harder for Americans — particularly minorities — to afford timely medical care for serious illnesses, according to a new national poll.

Why it matters: It's just one of the findings from the poll, which took up the recent consequences of inflation, particularly on minorities.

  • The findings suggest U.S. cities could be facing an uptick in hunger and homelessness in the next coming months if they don't prepare, said Robert Blendon, the co-director of the survey, told Axios.

"It's very striking," Blendon said. "We're in an inflationary period here and it's unusually broadly hitting minority communities even worse than everyone else."

By the numbers: The poll from NPR, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health was conducted on a nationally representative sample of more than 4,000 adults.

  • Nearly 60% of Black and Latino households and about 70% of Native American households said recent price increases caused them serious financial problems. In comparison, 36% of Asian households and 44% of White households agreed.
  • In the past year, 16% of Black renters, 10% of Latino renters, 21% of Native American renters say they have either been evicted or threatened with eviction. Less than 5% of Asian renters and 9% of white renters said the same.
  • Significant percentages of U.S. households with a member who's been seriously ill in the past year reported they were unable to get medical care for serious illnesses when needed. The proportions were: 35% Native American, 24% Black, 18% Latino, 18% white and 10% Asian.
  • More than one in five Black adults (22%), one-quarter of Native American adults, 19% of Latino adults, 16% of white adults and 14% of Asian adults say they are currently having serious problems affording medical care or prescription drugs.

Be smart: The deep racial disparities exposed during the first years of the COVID-19 don't appear to be improving in the latest phase of the pandemic — and could signal sustained societal problems.

  • "The gaps between Blacks and whites on getting care were the same," Blendon said.
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