Disparities Policy

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One Year after the Storms: Recovery and Health Care in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

One year after Hurricanes Irma and Maria made landfall, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) are still feeling the storms’ effects. Drawing on key stakeholder interviews and public reports, this brief provides an overview of recovery status and preparation efforts for the current hurricane season one year after the storms, with a focus on the territories’ health care systems.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

One Year after Hurricanes Irma and Maria, Recovery Has Progressed Slowly in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and Health Care Challenges Remain, Particularly in Mental Health

One year after Hurricanes Irma and Maria made landfall, recovery has progressed slowly and unevenly in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The territories’ health care systems continue to face capacity, infrastructure and financial challenges even as health needs have increased, especially in mental health, according to two new…

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Medicaid Financing Cliff: Implications for the Health Care Systems in Puerto Rico and USVI

This brief provides an overview of the status of the health care systems and Medicaid programs in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) about one and a half years after Hurricanes Irma and Maria struck the islands in September 2017. The hurricanes exacerbated the territories’ existing economic and health care challenges by accelerating outmigration of residents and health care providers and destroying homes, schools, health care facilities, and other infrastructure. After the storms, the territories’ Medicaid programs have served as important resources for addressing residents’ health care needs, but they have operated under longstanding financing challenges. This brief focuses on these challenges and includes KFF analysis of the implications for the territories’ Medicaid program finances, as most of the temporary federal Medicaid funds provided through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and disaster relief are set to expire at the end of September 2019. The other U.S. territories (American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam) also face challenges tied to the scheduled expiration of ACA funds.

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Health Coverage and Care of Undocumented Immigrants

Recently, many of the Democratic presidential candidates indicated support for expanding health coverage to undocumented immigrants. To help inform the implications of such an expansion, this brief provides an overview of current health coverage and care for undocumented immigrants

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Abismo en el financiamiento de Medicaid: Implicaciones para los sistemas de atención de salud de Puerto Rico y las Islas Vírgenes de los EE.UU.

Este resumen ofrece una descripción general del estado de los sistemas de atención médica y los programas de Medicaid en Puerto Rico y las Islas Vírgenes de los EE.UU. (USVI) aproximadamente un año y medio después que los huracanes Irma y María azotaran las islas, en septiembre de 2017. Después de las tormentas, los programas de Medicaid de los territorios han servido como recursos importantes para atender las necesidades de atención médica de los residentes, pero han operado bajo desafíos financieros de larga data. Este resumen se enfoca en esos desafíos e incluye el análisis de KFF de las consecuencias para las finanzas de los programas de Medicaid de los territorios, ya que la mayoría de los fondos federales de Medicaid provistos a través de la Ley de Cuidado de Salud a Bajo Precio (ACA), y la asistencia para desastres, expirarán a fines de septiembre de 2019. Los otros territorios de los EE.UU. (Samoa Americana, el Commonwealth de las Islas Marianas del Norte y Guam) también enfrentan retos relacionados con el vencimiento programado de los fondos de ACA. Este resumen se basa en trabajos anteriores y en informes públicos recientes, y en entrevistas con funcionarios de los territorios en los lugares afectados, con proveedores, con responsables de planes de salud de Puerto Rico y beneficiarios.

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Who are the 3.4 Million People Who Work in the Nation’s Food Production Industries?

Roughly 3.4 million individuals work in food production industries, more than a third of them in animal production and processing where there have been several COVID-19 outbreaks, a new KFF analysis shows. Workers at meat and poultry plants face a higher risk of coronavirus exposure due to the close quarters…

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Key Facts on Individuals Eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program

In September 2017, President Trump rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Without legislative or administrative action, individuals will lose their DACA status. Based on Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of Current Population Survey data, this fact sheet examines key characteristics of young undocumented individuals eligible for DACA. It shows that most individuals eligible for DACA are healthy and have health coverage, reflecting that the large majority live in a family with at least one full-time worker. Loss of DACA status would result in individuals losing work authorization and potentially being targeted for deportation. Employers would likely terminate individuals as they lose work authorization, leading to job loss along with loss of health coverage. Without access to coverage through an employer, many individuals would likely become uninsured since they are not eligible to enroll in Medicaid or CHIP or to purchase coverage through the Marketplaces. Employment and coverage losses would lead to increased financial pressure and reduced access to care for individuals and their families, who may include citizen children.

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Poll: Americans are Leaving Home More Often Now Than in April as States Ease Social Distancing Restrictions, though Coronavirus Fears Remain

As states continue to ease social distancing restrictions, Americans are leaving their homes more often to shop, visit close family and friends and go to work than they did in April in spite of their concerns about contracting coronavirus, the latest KFF tracking poll finds. The poll finds 9 in…

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As the COVID-19 Pandemic Shifts to the South and West, the Disparate Impact on Communities of Color Will Follow

The geographic shift of the nation’s worst COVID-19 outbreaks to states in the South and West is expected to intensify the well-documented disparities in the health and economic impacts of the pandemic on people of color — especially Hispanics, according to a new KFF analysis. Twenty-three of the 33 states identified…

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KFF Health Tracking Poll – June 2020

This month’s tracking poll examines public attitudes toward and experiences with institutional racism and police violence, whether they have participated in recent protests, and perceptions related to health disparities, specifically with regard to coronavirus.

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