Study Suggests COVID-19 Universal Health Care Measures Mitigated Healthcare Impact and Reduced Disparities
In an article published by Medical Express, a study conducted by researchers from CUNY SPH suggests that federal initiatives supporting COVID-19 Universal Health Care, including free testing and treatment, may have mitigated the healthcare impact of the pandemic and prevented the exacerbation of racial/ethnic health disparities.
The study, published in the Journal of Urban Health, utilized data from the Community Health Survey to compare unmet healthcare needs in the first year of the pandemic (2020) with the preceding two years (2018-2019). The study found that the percentage of New Yorkers experiencing unmet healthcare needs did not significantly differ during the pandemic, and even decreased among those without health insurance.
However, the effect varied based on health insurance status, with uninsured adults experiencing decreased odds of unmet healthcare needs during the COVID-19 Universal Health Care pandemic compared to previous years, while those with insurance saw a slight increase. These findings underscore the potential impact of COVID-19 Universal Health Care measures on reducing disparities and ensuring equitable access to healthcare services during the pandemic and beyond.
COVID-19 Universal Health care Policy Linked to Reduced Access Disparities and Impact on Healthcare Needs, Study Finds
The impact of unmet healthcare needs during the pandemic appeared to vary based on health insurance status, possibly contributing to the absence of a clear link between the pandemic’s first year and overall unmet care needs. Interestingly, race and ethnicity did not modify this effect, despite certain groups being disproportionately affected by COVID-19. The implementation of a universal COVID-19 healthcare policy, referred to as “Covid-19 universal health care,” may have played a role in preventing an escalation of healthcare access disparities.
The study underscores the positive impact of universal healthcare on population health, highlighting that even a limited version of such a policy, like “Covid-19 universal health care,” can significantly mitigate disparities in healthcare access.
The findings have important implications for the response to both COVID-19 and future epidemics at the state and city levels, demonstrating the potential benefits of adopting a “Covid-19 universal health care” approach to ensure equitable healthcare access for all.