Racial, Ethnic Divide in U.S. Views of Pandemic, Healthcare


By Nicole Willcoxon, Ph.D
 
February 18, 2022
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. — As the world faces the third year of the coronavirus pandemic, Black and Hispanic Americans are significantly more worried than White Americans about getting infected with COVID-19. Nearly seven in 10 Black adults (69%) and Hispanic adults (68%) are very or somewhat stressed about contracting COVID-19, compared with 57% of White adults, according to a survey by West Health and Gallup.
 
The survey was conducted by web Sept. 27-30 and Oct. 18-21 via the nationally representative Gallup Panel. The survey was fielded during the delta variant wave in the U.S. but prior to the omicron variant. During the survey field periods, new case counts averaged about 110,000 per day in September and 80,000 per day in October, compared with over 140,000 today. The full study results can be found in the West Health-Gallup 2021 Healthcare in America Report.
 

Agreement Across Groups About Some Elements of Healthcare, but Not All

The West Health-Gallup study highlights continued disparities in access to healthcare and in health outcomes in the U.S. Black Americans (8%) are twice as likely as White Americans (4%) to say they know someone who has died in the past year due to an inability to pay for treatment.

At the same time, Americans across racial and ethnic groups agree that healthcare is too expensive and that costs do not match the quality of care. More than 90% of adults among each group say the general cost of care is too high and that they pay too much for the quality of care they receive, and about 70% indicate that healthcare costs are a financial burden for them. Additionally, 51% of U.S. adults overall — including 51% of White, 47% of Black and 56% of Hispanic adults — say the cost of healthcare causes them daily stress.

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