Health News Roundup

Connecticut’s potential eviction crisis, and more in this week’s roundup

The pandemic hit and this car became home for a family of four. Now they’re fighting to get out.
Greg Jaffe, The Washington Post, June 6
The pandemic had forced them from their home. Then they had run out of money for a motel. That left the car, which is where Sergine Lucien, Dave Marecheau and their two children were one recent night, parked in a lot that was tucked behind a row of empty storefronts. In theory, the family qualified for a $3,400 federal stimulus check, but they had no bank account or address to collect it. In theory, Dave was entitled to unemployment, but as of May only about 43 percent of Florida’s 1.1 million claims had been paid.

On the minds of Black Lives Matter protesters: A racist health system 
Akilah Johnson, ProPublica, June 5
Black lives are being lost to COVID-19 at twice the rate of others. For some protesters, that’s one more reason to be on the street. When speaking out against the loss of Black lives, it is tough to separate those who die at the hands of police from those who die in a pandemic that has laid bare the structural racism baked into the American health system.

Is Connecticut headed for an eviction crisis? To be determined…

Jaqueline Rabe Thomas, The Connecticut Mirror, June 10
Landlords in Connecticut report the number of residents not paying rent has tripled since COVID-19 shut down the economy. That’s 140,000 Connecticut residents who don’t believe they can make rent next month – three-quarters of them Black, Latino or another minority. Several renters worry about paying their rent either because they have been waiting for weeks for their unemployment benefits or they are not eligible because they stopped working after deciding it wasn’t worth risking their health for a minimum wage salary.

COVID-19 lays bare how racism fuels health disparities among Black people 
Meghana Keshavan, STAT, June 9
Black people are more likely than white people to die from cancer. They are more likely to suffer from chronic pain, diabetes, and depression. Black children report higher levels of stress. Black mothers are more likely to die in childbirth. Those findings are part of a mountain of research cataloguing the complex and widespread effects that racism has on the health — and the medical care — of Black people in the U.S. Those effects stretch back centuries and take different forms, from discriminatory diagnostics to institutional barriers to care, all of which affect a person’s health.
Related: Anti-Racism Resources, Connecticut Health Foundation, June 8

Even with private insurance, black overdose patients are half as likely as whites to get addiction treatment
Aubrey Whelan, The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 27
A study of privately insured people who suffered an overdose and were treated at an emergency room found that referral rates were low. In particular, researchers found minorities were less likely to receive follow-up care after their overdose, such as being referred to an inpatient treatment program, or started on medication-assisted treatment.