By Melanie Eversley

Older Black and Native Americans are being shortchanged in Idaho when it comes to health care, according to an advocacy group filing a civil rights complaint against the state.

Justice in Aging is asking the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to investigate how Idaho rations health care in the wake of COVID-19 challenges, the Associated Press reports. 

The group charges that Idaho’s rationing system leaves Black Americans and Native Americans wanting when it comes to decisions over who will receive lifesaving care.

“Older folks are facing serious risk of discrimination, resulting in death,” Justice in Aging wrote in their complaint.

Idaho Department of Health and Welfare spokesman Greg Stahl told the AP that the agency is unaware of the complaint, but he added that the department’s patient care strategy designates that “ … all lives have value and no patients will be discriminated against on the basis of disability, race, color, national origin, age, sex, gender or exercise of conscience and religion.”

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