This week marks the 50th anniversary of the momentous March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where hundreds of thousands of Americans mobilized for equal rights. And, while our nation has made great strides in the 50 years since – much work remains to be done.
Disparities in health and health outcomes persist. Black and Latino Americans have a rate of uninsurance that is nearly three times as high as their White counterparts. Insurance coverage is strongly related to health outcomes, and because of this minority populations are more likely to have worse health outcomes.
But inequality today is not limited to race. Health disparities and a lack of affordable, quality health insurance also prevails among members of the LGBT community, women, young adults, and people with disabilities.
Factors vary by state, and here in New York we have been working hard to level the playing field in the health arena through implementation of our New York State of Health insurance marketplace. HCFANY and our fellow advocates, policymakers, and stakeholders have been working hard to make our insurance marketplace as consumer-friendly and affordable as possible. And while we are ecstatic at the results we are seeing, this is still a work in progress. It may not be the answer to health disparities in our state, it is at least a beginning.
Let this week be a reminder of Dr. King’s vision and of not just how far we have come since 1963, but also of how far we still need to go. Here at HCFANY, we will keep marching on. We hope you will too!