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Expand chart
Data: Ipsos, Global Health Service Monitor 2021; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

Health care performance is significantly worse for U.S. Latinos when compared with non-Hispanic white people, while some Latin Americans are also concerned about equitable access to health care in their countries.

Why it matters: A report compiled by the Commonwealth Fund underlines profound racial and ethnic health care disparities across the United States.

The big picture: In nearly every state with a large number of Latinos, the report found that non-Hispanic white people have greater access to health care.

  • A lack of health insurance continues to contribute significantly to health disparities among Latinos.
  • State uninsured rates are markedly higher for Latinos between the ages of 19 and 64, according to the report.
  • An estimated 3 million Latinos face immigration-related barriers to enrollment in subsidized health care plans, such as Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act, according to the report.
  • While the social spending bill working its way through Congress would expand Medicare in 12 states, the measure contains nothing to address health disparities for undocumented immigrants.

Details: Poverty rates are higher than average in many predominately Black and Latino communities, where the quality of the health care facilities is often lower.

  • About 36 percent of Latinos live in states that did not expand Medicaid to low-income adults, a measure that could have yielded significant results in increasing access to health care, per the report.
  • Premature death rates are higher for Latinos in several southwestern and mountain states, such as Texas, which opted against Medicaid expansion.

Zoom out: Disparities in access to health care are more pronounced in some Latin American countries, a recent Ipsos poll found.

  • About 80% of residents in Brazil, Mexico and Argentina say that many people cannot afford health care.
  • More than 60% of people in Chile do not believe their country provides the same standard of care to everyone, according to the poll.
  • Over 50% of those polled in Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Chile say the standard of care is unequal depending on income levels.

Get more news that matters about Latinos in the hemisphere, delivered right to your inbox on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Sign up for the Axios Latino newsletter.

Go deeper

Updated 16 hours ago - Axios Events

Watch: A conversation on pandemic-era innovations' impact on health care

On Dec. 8, Axios health care reporter Caitlin Owens unpacked pandemic-era innovations and the impact on health care in 2022 and beyond, featuring Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and Scripps Research President & CEO Dr. Pete Schultz.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
22 hours ago - Health

Experts fear a bad flu season on top of COVID

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Public health officials are warning that the U.S. may be on the verge of a dangerous double whammy: COVID and flu, spreading simultaneously.

The big picture: The Delta variant is still circulating across the U.S., and the Omicron variant isn't far behind. On top of that, experts see potential warning signs of a bad flu season, which could leave millions of Americans vulnerable and strain health care resources.

Dec 7, 2021 - Health

Cigna backs Bright Health as part of $750 million fundraise

Cigna is investing in Bright Health. Photo: Brad Horrigan/Hartford Courant/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Bright Health, the parent company of a health insurer and physician clinics, has raised $750 million from Cigna's venture capital arm — a new investor for the company — and longtime investor New Enterprise Associates.

Why it matters: Cigna, one of the largest national health insurers, is putting a lot of money into a company that is a competitor but also a possible purchaser of Cigna's extra health services.

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