The U.S. spends nearly $4 trillion on health care, yet inequities in care continue to persist. With 30 million Americans uninsured during the pandemic, is universal health care the answer? PBS NewsHour’s William Brangham explores the matter in “Critical Care: America vs. The World” on PBS.

In the documentary, EHF CEO Elena Marks drives through Houston’s northeast side and explains why access to affordable medical care isn’t the only battle these low-income Houstonians face. She shows how non-medical factors like neighborhood conditions and lack of access to healthy foods have a dramatic impact on health.

“I want you to see that in just a few miles you see the very best and the very worst, and it’s just not fair,” says Marks.

EHF researchers analyzed CDC data (see map below) and found that this area of Houston, residents live on average 20 years less than in higher-income areas just miles away.