According to the United States Census Bureau, as of 2019, about 10%of the United States population do not have health insurance. The majority of the uninsured people are families with low income and people of color. In a study conducted by Kaiser Family Foundation in 2019, they found that about 73.7% of the nonelderly uninsured population did not have insurance because it was not affordable, while 25.3% mentioned that they were ineligible for coverage. (KFF)
The state of Texas had the highest uninsured rate of 2019 at 20.9%. Health insurance is especially important because it determines where, how, and when people get their care. People that are uninsured will often forgo their healthcare which is a serious problem when preventable diseases go undetected.
In the city of Houston, thousands of families and individuals in low-income communities fall under a category of uninsured and/or without healthcare coverage. These communities in Houston, which are predominantly Black and Hispanic, fail to receive routine preventive health screenings which puts them at greater risk for contracting diseases. African Americans, specifically those ages 18 to 49, are twice as likely to die of heart disease than other Americans. Along with this, one in every 500 African Americans develop sickle cell anemia while this disease is extremely rare in the Caucasian community.
Lastly, African Americans are also twice as likely to die from a stroke than Caucasian Americans. These diseases which disproportionately affect African Americans should be detected early on and treated at its earliest stage. However, given that a large percentage of African Americans are unable to get screened for these diseases, they end up finding out about their situation when it is far too late.
So, what is a solution? Pop-up and student-run clinics often rely on volunteer clinicians that can provide preventive screenings to a good number of patients in a short time span for no cost. These pop-up clinics would be beneficial to the uninsured individuals in low-income communities. The main purpose of these clinics is to connect the patients with preventive services that can help the individuals at risk to better manage their healthcare. These diseases which have taken the lives of so many people of color can be prevented, detected, and treated in the early stages. It is up to us to fulfill the duty of getting these individuals access to the care they need.
The state of Texas had the highest uninsured rate which was 20.9%
These communities in Houston, which are predominantly Black and Hispanic, fail to receive routine preventive health screenings which puts them at greater risk for contracting diseases
The pop-up clinics can serve to connect patients with preventive services that can help individuals better manage their healthcare.