Structural Racism In Historical And Modern US Health Care Policy

Ruqaiijah Yearby, Brietta Clark, and José F. Figuero

The COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated and amplified the harsh reality of health inequities experienced by racial and ethnic  minority groups in the United States. Members of these groups have disproportionately been infected and died from COVID-19, yet they still lack equitable access to treatment and vaccines. Lack of equitable access to high-quality health care is in large part a result of structural racism in US health care policy, which structures the health care system to advantage the White population and disadvantage racial and ethnic minority populations. This article provides historical context and a detailed account of modern structural racism in health care policy, highlighting its role in health care coverage, financing, and quality.