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April 29, 2020

Chairman Thompson and Committee Democrats Request HHS OIG Examine Racial, Socioeconomic Healthcare Disparities Exposed by Coronavirus

(WASHINGTON) – Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, along with the Democratic membership of the Committee, sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) regarding healthcare disparities – which have been further exposed by the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.  In the letter, the Members request the OIG to examine HHS’s past and present efforts to eliminate racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic health disparities and to recommend ways to lessen the effects of health disparities going forward.

“Despite the thorough reporting and awareness within HHS and amongst Federal health officials of racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic healthcare disparities, these disparities continue to plague our country’s healthcare system,” wrote the Members. “Our country’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic further exposes this problem.”

“COVID-19 continues to devastate communities across the country, and data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state health departments, and public reporting indicate the devastation has been particularly severe within minority and economically disadvantaged communities.”

Link to letter

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