The income is a powerful force with the race to determine who, among the nations most vulnerable, the older population has been infected with the new coronavirus, according to the federal law analysis, which reveals significant disparities in the pandemic’s toll.
The results released Monday are based on the billing records for persons on medicare who have contracted the virus. They echo the commonly understood reason that black Americans are more likely to test positive for the virus and be hospitalized for covid-19, the disease it causes, than other racial and ethnic groups. But they also emphasize the role of poverty, the pandemic has accelerated across U.S. communities in the winter and spring.
The persons covered by medicare, the huge federal program of insurance for older Americans, who are poor enough to qualify for Medicaid, the public insurance safety net were four times more likely to have been infected or hospitalized with coronavirus than those on medicare alone, according to the billing records of more than 325,000 cases from January until mid-May.