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Health Disparities Round-Up – June 26, 2015

Just in case you missed it, here’s some of the latest health disparities news, posts and reports from this past week.

The Commonwealth Fund: Coverage and Financial Security Preserved for Millions of Americans in the Supreme Court Ruling for the Government – “Today the Supreme Court decided in favor of the government in the King v. Burwell case. The case had contested the legality of the Affordable Care Act’s premium subsidies in the 34 states that have federally facilitated marketplaces.1  Today’s decision means that the estimated 6.4 million Americans who are currently receiving subsidies in these states will continue to benefit from affordable health insurance.” >> Read more

Think Progress: How Smartphones Are Becoming Survival Tools For Invisible Communities – “The Pew Research Center recently found that 64 percent of adults living in the U.S. own a smartphone. However, minorities and low-income people are disproportionately smartphone-dependent, meaning “they do not have broadband access at home, and also have relatively few options for getting online other than their cell phone.” Whereas 1 percent of households earning $75,000 or more per year depend on smartphones for internet, 13 percent of households earning less than $30,000 rely on phones. Moreover, 12 percent and 13 percent of African Americans and Latinos are smartphone dependent, respectively, as opposed to 4 percent of the white population. People in those groups increasingly rely on smartphones for job applications, educational tools, banking, and accessing health resources — meaning phones are becoming less of a luxury item and more of a survival technology.” >> Read more

Latin Post: Obamacare Supreme Court Case: Latinos Risk Health Care Insurance Loss But President Obama ‘Optimistic’ With SCOTUS Ruling – “More than 6 million Americans may lose their health insurance pending a U.S. Supreme Court decision, but President Barack Obama is confident the highest court in the country will rule in favor of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). During a press conference on Monday, Obama spoke about the King vs. Burwell case, which could see the end of federal subsidies for people enrolled through the federal health insurance marketplace, As Latin Post reported, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) stated the nationwide uninsured rate in the Latino community dropped 12.3 percent since the ACA’s first provisions went in effect in 2010. Since 2010, more than 4.2 million Latinos gained health insurance.” >> Read more

LA Times: Obese Americans now outnumber those who are merely overweight, study says – “African Americans had the highest rates of obesity among both men (39%) and women (57%). The researchers found that 17% of black women and 7% of black men were extremely obese, meaning their body mass index was over 40. Among the group labeled Mexican Americans, 38% of men and 43% of women were obese. For whites, 35% of men and 34% of women were obese. No data were reported for Asian Americans, who until recently have been undersampled in NHANES surveys. Rates of overweight and obesity were comparable for younger (ages 25 to 54) and older (ages 55 and up) adults, according to the study.” >> Read more

The European Journal of Public Health: What causes health inequality? A systematic review on the relative importance of social causation and health selection – “Abstract Background: The social gradient in health is one of the most reliable findings in public health research. The two competing hypotheses that try to explain this gradient are known as the social causation and the health selection hypothesis. There is currently no synthesis of the results of studies that test both hypotheses.” >> Read more

Kaiser Health News: Medicare Slow To Adopt Telemedicine Due To Cost Concerns – “Donna Miles didn’t feel like getting dressed and driving to her physician’s office or to a retailer’s health clinic near her Cincinnati home. For several days, she had thought she had thrush, a mouth infection that made her tongue sore and discolored with raised white spots. When Miles, 68, awoke on a wintry February morning and the pain had not subsided, she decided to see a doctor. So she turned on her computer and logged on to, a service offered by her Medicare Advantage plan, Anthem BlueCross BlueShield of Ohio. She spoke to a physician, who used her computer’s camera to peer into her mouth and who then sent a prescription to her pharmacy.” >> Read more

New Haven Register: ACA Court Challenge: What’s at stake for Connecticut – “Tens of thousands of Connecticut residents who receive federal subsidies to help pay for health insurance won’t be affected immediately by the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act before the U.S. Supreme Court. But experts say there’s a good chance Connecticut residents will experience some political fallout from the court decision – which could come as soon as Thursday – challenging the validity of federal premium tax credits to 6.4 million Americans in 34 states with federally-operated insurance marketplaces (also known as exchanges). Nearly 74 percent (74,682) of the 101,294 people who purchased commercial health insurance plans through Access Health CT received premium tax credits, as of June 2015. Connecticut is among the 16 states – along with the District of Columbia – that established their own state-based marketplaces through the health law.” >> Read more

Salud Today: Study: Authoritarian Parenting can Lead to Anxiety and Depression Among Latino Children – “Mexican American children and Dominican American are found to be at a higher risk of experiencing depression and somatization due to authoritarian parenting, according to a new research from The University of Texas at Austin’s School of Social Work. The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, examined the prevalence of anxiety and depression and somatization (when a person has physical symptoms, but no physical cause can be found) in children aged 4-6 from Mexican and Dominican descent. According to the study Latino children experienced higher levels of anxiety, depression and somatization than the general population. According to the researchers 50 percent of Latino youth are at risk of anxiety and 10 percent are at risk for depression and somatization.” >> Read more



Featured image credit: istock Photo, contributed by Gord Horne


About Gina Hernandez

Gina Hernandez is a Program Director at the Society for New Communications Research and has worked 7+ years in the digital communications field. Prior to joining the Society for New Communications Research, Gina worked at re: Imagine group, where she where she led media and blogger outreach and agency research.

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