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Health Disparities Round-Up – September 18, 2015

Just in case you missed it, here’s some of the latest health disparities news, posts and reports from this past week. Latina.com: Wow! Study Reveals Black Children Are Less Likely to Receive Pain Meds in the ER – “A distrubing study reveals that race may be in a factor in the treatment of children with appendicitis, a painful condition which requires surgery. According to findings published in the Journal of American Medical Association’s JAMA Pediatrics, black children and teens with appendicitis were far less likely to receive pain medication, specifically opioids, than white children during treatment.” >> Read more

Health Disparities Round-Up – September 11, 2015

Just in case you missed it, here’s some of the latest health disparities news, posts and reports from this past week. Journalist’s Resource: Health disparities: Race and asthma – “In the United States, racial minorities tend to experience poorer health compared to their white counterparts. For example, the death rate for all cancers is 30% higher for African Americans than it is for whites, according to the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hispanics are almost twice as likely as non-Hispanic whites to die from diabetes. The prevalence of asthma also differs by race. Studies consistently demonstrate that asthma – a chronic lung disease that affects about 1 in 12 people — is more likely to affect blacks than whites and is less common among Hispanics.”

Roe v Wade: An Invaluable Healthcare Legacy

Folks – today is the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. While the debates for the Republican Presidential primary continue to stoke the flames of dispute about the human right for universal healthcare, it’s time to pause and reflect on an important human right that was reaffirmed on this date, 39 years ago, in the historic ruling ofRoe v. Wade – specifically the right to privacy regarding the medical decision whether or not to have an abortion. On January 22, 1973 the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its ruling in the landmark Roe v. Wade case. This historic ruling reiterated that individuals, not politicians, should have the right to make their own medical decisions – medical decisions are private decisions that should occur between the patient and doctor.  More narrowly, the decision ensured that the right to privacy in the U.S. Constitution permits a woman to choose whether to continue…

Health Disparities Round-Up – August 28, 2015

Just in case you missed it, here’s some of the latest health disparities news, posts and reports from this past week.   NPR Shots: Texting Helps Diabetes Patients Fine-Tune Insulin Dosing – “For people with chronic conditions, mobile technology can provide crucial support and lower costs. Doctors have used mobile messaging to prompt hypertensive patients to measure their blood pressure and to remind HIV-positive people to return for regular lab testing. For people tracking their overall health, Apple’s new HealthKit makes it easier for different health and fitness apps to exchange data.” 

Could Removal of the Confederate Flag have Tangible Impacts on Health Equity?

Yesterday the South Carolina State Assembly finally agreed on a vote to take down the confederate flag from the State House. Although it took the murder of a fellow State Senator in a church to create the political will to get this done, it is a welcome change, and one that has the potential to both improve race relations and possibly even reduce racial health inequalities. While touted as an artifact of Southern heritage, the confederate flag has served as a bruising symbol not only of a painful past but also of a hateful present. Although Southern whites may claim the flag as a symbol of Southern pride, the reality is that the flag was erected in 1961 in protest of federal racial integration policy. Let’s repeat that, it was erected specifically as a symbol of Southern resistance to civil rights.  Whereas 75% of Southern whites describe the flag as a symbol…

Supreme Court Deals Final Death Blow to Republicans over Obamacare

In a 6-3 majority decision, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the federal health insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act that are currently being received by an estimated 6.4 million who live in states with Federally-run insurance exchanges. Most revealing was the short and curt decision, written by one of the court’s staunchest conservatives, Chief Justice John Roberts: “Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not destroy them,” Robertswrote.  With that, the court was in essence telling Republicans to give it a rest already.

Tax Season Heralds New Supreme Court Challenge to the Affordable Care Act

As tax season approaches, so does another Supreme Court challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This time the challenge is focused on the new tax subsidies that many Americans will be filing for in their tax returns this year. Once again, the fate of the ACA and the subsidies that millions of Americans are now receiving that have made it possible for them to more comfortably afford health insurance, rests on the decision of a highly politicized court, masquerading as an impartial arbiter of the law.

Finally Owning Obamacare?

In his much talked about State of the Union Address, President Obama finally owned his signature health care law by pointing to two of the biggest achievements of the Affordable Care Act so far: First, that in the past year, ten million uninsured Americans gained health coverage. Second, that health care inflation is at its lowest rate in fifty years. These are both important accomplishments no doubt, but more importantly for advocates of universal health coverage, Obama embraced what he termed “middle class economics”.  This was an important step in stating in clear terms a Democratic platform targeted squarely at the middle class – the median voter – who in theory should be supportive of universal coverage.

The Fleecing of Single-Payer in Vermont: Are Americans too stupid to understand universal health coverage as some health economists think?

What began with a bang in 2011 ended with a whimper last month when Governor Peter Shumlin tabled legislation that would have brought the nation’s first tax financed, unified health system to the state of Vermont. Shumlin, who narrowly won reelection in a too close to call race by vote of the Legislature, was greeted in his inaugural address by the jeers of single-payer advocates protesting his repeal of single-payer plans. Why did the Governor drop his signature health care legislation? According to Shumlin, the answer is clear- it’s the financing stupid.  The tax rate that would have had to be imposed to finance the system was too high requiring an 11.5% payroll tax on all Vermont businesses and a public premium assessment of up to 9.5% of individual income. These were tax rates that he could not he could not, in his words, “responsibly support or urge the Legislature…

Another Unsuccessful Spin for the Democrats: Implications of the Midterm Elections for the ACA

The results of the midterm elections show that the Democrats have once again allowed the Republicans to control the narrative on the health of the nation. They further squandered an opportunity to counter the false rhetoric that the country has been on the wrong path under Democratic control. The Republicans now control both the House and the Senate for the first time since 2007 and by some of the widest margins seen since 1929. Calls to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are once again reverberating throughout the Capital. Despite the fact gas was under $3 a gallon, unemployment under 6%, the stock market was breaking records, and the costs of health care have been declining and millions have gained coverage under the ACA, Democratic campaigns across the country embarked on a deliberate strategy of distancing themselves from Obama and Obama’s record. While it was projected that the democrats would…