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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

People of color disproportionately lack stable health insurance and have more trouble affording health care than white Americans, a new survey from the Commonwealth Fund shows.

Why it matters: This is one of the long-standing inequalities the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated.

By the numbers: Overall, 43% of working-age adults did not have stable health insurance coverage, according to the Commonwealth survey, which was conducted over the first six months of the year.

  • 45% of Black Americans reported having problems paying medical bills, compared to 35% of white Americans.
  • More than one-third of Latinx adults, small business workers and people with low incomes were uninsured for at least part of the past year, the survey says.

Even 25% of adults with "adequate coverage" reported having trouble paying medical bills in the past year.

  • The number of Commonwealth considers to be underinsured has doubled in the last 10 years — 46% of privately insured adults now have a deductibles of $1,000 or more.

The bottom line: "Coverage inadequacy is compromising people’s ability to get the care they need and leaving many with medical debt at a moment of widespread health and financial insecurity, and an uncertain future," said Sara Collins, the lead author of the report.

Go deeper: America's failed coronavirus response hurts people of color most

Go deeper

Nov 26, 2020 - Health

Food banks feel the strain without holiday volunteers

People wait in line at Food Bank Community Kitchen on Nov. 25 in New York City. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Food Bank For New York City

America's food banks are sounding the alarm during this unprecedented holiday season.

The big picture: Soup kitchens and charities, usually brimming with holiday volunteers, are getting far less help.

Nov 26, 2020 - Health

California officials plan to relocate thousands of homeless people from hotels

A homeless man stands outside tents on Skid Row in Los Angeles, California, on Nov. 25. Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

California officials say they plan to shut down many of the hotels that have housed over 23,000 homeless people during the coronavirus pandemic, Politico reports.

The big picture: U.S. cities have bought up vacant hotels, apartments and other buildings to ease the burden on shelters of housing homeless people during the pandemic, as many centers have struggled to follow CDC guidelines and are accepting less people to allow for social distancing.

Nov 26, 2020 - Health

AstraZeneca CEO: "We need to do an additional study" on COVID vaccine

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on Thursday the company is likely to start a new global trial to measure how effective its coronavirus vaccine is, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Following Phase 3 trials, Oxford and AstraZeneca said their vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses.