For those of us at CCF who live in the District of Columbia, we have watched the deaths from COVID-19 mount disproportionately in the African American community. Three quarters of those who have died are Black, yet African Americans constitute 46% of the population. This pattern has been replicated across the country in African American, Native American and Latino communities.
We know that families of color are disproportionately impacted by the economic and health crises the nation is facing in this pandemic. And we know that Medicaid disproportionately serves children and families in communities of color and that it is a constant fight to preserve its fundamental structure, funding, and comprehensive benefits. And that preserving it is not enough –we must work to make its promise a reality – especially in light of ongoing racial disparities in health outcomes.
We know these things because they are facts and we are policy researchers that like to work with facts, yet facts offer us scant guidance now as we ask ourselves how to do better for Black, Latino and Native American children and families in the face of ongoing and persistent racism. All that we can do is listen and try.