On May 27, 2020, the House Ways and Means Committee convened its first ever virtual hearing to discuss the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color. Overall, members vocalized support for the need to address the underlying reasons behind why minority communities have experienced higher rates of infection and mortality linked to COVID-19. Specifically, members discussed the need for more granular data on infection rates among minority populations in order to identify which communities need the most support.
Members also discussed this issue against the backdrop of the more systemic problem that minority populations face regarding more limited access to health care services, the tendency to live in congregate housing, and working jobs that do not allow them to work remotely. As such, members characterized solutions in terms of what they can impact in the short-term (i.e., access to better testing data) and in the long-term (i.e., how to make the health care system more equitable). However, and especially in regards to the latter category, specific proposals were not fleshed out.
Our full summary is available here.