Minority Communities Need Medicare Advantage. Don’t cut it

Minority Communities Need Medicare Advantage. Don’t cut it.

By: Martin Hamlette, JD, MHA

It will be years before we learn all the lessons of the COVID crisis, but some are coming into view even now. This pandemic has not hit all communities equally. As we recover, policymakers have a responsibility to avoid the mistakes of the past. Congress is considering historic investments in the social safety net. As they do so, those investments should not be paid for by cuts to programs that help minority communities.

One program that Black and Brown Americans increasingly rely upon is Medicare Advantage, the privately run alternative to fee-for-service Medicare. This program has better health outcomes and advances equity better than traditional Medicare for racial and ethnic minority communities. That is why people of color now make up 32% of the Medicare Advantage population, compared to the 21% enrolled in traditional Medicare. Still, some


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