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Health Disparities Round-Up – March 6, 2015

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

Kaiser Health News: 5 Things To Know About The Supreme Court Case Challenging The Health Law – “The Affordable Care Act is once again before the Supreme Court. On March 4, the justices will hear oral arguments in King v. Burwell, a case challenging the validity of tax subsidies helping millions of Americans buy health insurance if they don’t get it through an employer or the government. If the court rules against the Obama administration, those subsidies could be cut off for everyone in the three dozen states using healthcare.gov, the federal exchange website. A decision is expected by the end of June. Here are five things you should know about the case and its potential consequences.” >> Read more

National Women’s Law Center: King v. Burwell: Data Shows Millions of Women at Risk of Losing Affordable Health Insurance – “The Affordable Care Act (ACA) makes historic strides for women’s health and economic security, but is once again under attack. The health care law provides premium tax credits and other financial assistance to help low and moderate-income individuals and families—many of whom are women—purchase health insurance and reduce out-of-pocket expenses such as co-payments and deductibles.  The Supreme Court will soon hear one of several challenges opponents of the law have brought against this core provision of the ACA, and will likely issue its decision by early summer. The National Women’s Law Center (NWLC)’s new analysis of data from the American Community Survey shows what’s at stake for women in King v. Burwell. As the accompanying table and the following highlights illustrate, millions of women – including a disproportionate number of women of color – could lose access to affordable health coverage in states with federally-facilitated insurance Marketplaces.” >> Read more

The CT Mirror: Access Health offers special April enrollment for health coverage – “Access Health CT, the state’s insurance exchange, said Tuesday it will hold a special enrollment period for those who did not have health insurance in 2014 and, as a result, paid a penalty on their federal income taxes. The special enrollment, which will run from April 1 through midnight April 30, will allow the uninsured who sign up to limit penalties on their 2015 taxes. “Our goal from day one has been to ensure that every Connecticut resident who wants health care coverage is able to access a quality, affordable plan through Access Health CT,” said Jim Wadleigh, CEO. ‘Since this is the first tax filing season where consumers may have to pay a penalty or claim an exemption for not having health care coverage, we want to make sure those who were not aware or did not understand the requirement have an opportunity to obtain coverage and avoid the tax penalty next year.’” >> Read more

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (Press Release): Poll: U.S. public sees ill health as resulting from broad range of causes – “Boston, MA – A new NPR/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health poll finds that more than six in ten people living in the U.S. (62%) are concerned about their future health. Nearly four in ten (39%) said that they had one or more negative childhood experiences that they believe had a harmful impact on their adult health.” >> Read more

Kaiser Health News: FAQ: What Are The Penalties For Not Getting Insurance? – “If you’re uninsured, you may have questions about possible penalties for not having coverage. The fine may be bigger than you expect.” >> Read more

The Nation’s Health: Raising minimum wage good for public health, not just wallets: Advocates call for federal increase – “Last year, Minnesota legislators successfully enacted a raise in the minimum wage, taking Minnesota from one of the lowest-paying minimum wage states to one of the highest. State Health Commissioner Edward Ehlinger described the move as the greatest legislative victory of the year. ‘I’d argue that it was the biggest public health achievement in that legislative session — and probably in the four years I’ve been health commissioner,’ Ehlinger, MD, MSPH, an APHA member, told The Nation’s Health. ‘Even the tobacco tax increase the year before is not as powerful as the minimum wage increase.’” >> Read more

CTPost.com: Justices sharply divided over health care law subsidies – “WASHINGTON (AP) — Sharply divided along familiar lines, the Supreme Court took up a politically charged new challenge to President Barack Obama’s health overhaul Wednesday in a dispute over the tax subsidies that make insurance affordable for millions of Americans. The outcome in what Justice Elena Kagan called “this never-ending saga” of Republican-led efforts to kill the Affordable Care Act appears to hinge on the votes of Chief Justice John Roberts, whose vote saved the law three years ago, and Justice Anthony Kennedy.” >> Read more

NPR Shots: Improving Housing Can Pay Dividends In Better Health – “In NPR’s latest poll with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, 40 percent of lower-income Americans like Ayesh, with household incomes under $25,000 a year, told us they believe that poor neighborhoods and housing conditions lead to poor health.” >> Read more

 

Image credit: iStock Photo, contributed by @stonerivermedia

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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