Injustice System –

APRIL 8, 2019 – With the advent of Black Lives Matter and other grassroots movements, as well as increased media attention on the violent, disproportionate policing of black and brown communities, national understanding of the systemic racism within the criminal justice system has grown. Understanding of the systemic racism in public health policy, however—and of the undeniable link between criminal justice, health inequities and racial discrimination in this country—still lags behind. The reality is that both health and justice opportunities have been historically—and are still presently—mainly accessible only to certain groups of Americans, namely those who are white and middle-upper class.

“Compared with whites, members of racial and ethnic minorities are less likely to receive preventive health services and often receive lower-quality care.” Americans receive varying levels of healthcare or are wholly denied access based on race and socioeconomic status. According to a 2016 report by the Kaiser Family Foundation, “data shows that people of color continue to face significant disparities in access to and utilization of care,” and “despite coverage gains under the ACA, non-elderly Hispanics, Blacks, and American Indians and Alaska Natives remain significantly more likely than whites to be uninsured. Overall, people of color account for more than half (55%) of the total 32.3 million nonelderly uninsured.”

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