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Health Disparities Roundup – October 18, 2013

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

Boston.com: Conn. health exchange attracting older enrollees – “Of the 3,847 individuals who signed up for coverage through Access Health CT between Oct. 1 and Oct. 15, 1,857 enrolled in Medicaid; 93 in CHIP for children; 772 in private plans without a subsidy and 1,125 in private plans with a subsidy. Van Loon said they will not be officially enrolled until Access Health CT, also known as an exchange, forwards their data to the insurance companies participating in the program. So far, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield apparently is the most popular choice, covering 67 percent of enrollees. ConnecticutCare Benefits Inc. has picked up 31 percent of the enrollees, followed by the new nonprofit HealthyCT Inc. with 2 percent.” >> Read More

HealtthWorks Collective: #ObamaCare and You: Uwe Reinhardt Discusses HealthCare Economics – “Dr. Uwe E. Reinhardt is James Madison Professor of Political Economy and Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Recognized as one of the nation’s leading authorities on health care economics, Reinhardt has been a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences since 1978. HWC: What are strengths and weaknesses of the American healthcare system, and how is the ACA supposed to address those weaknesses? UR: One strength is a very well-trained workforce. We have perhaps among the best trained doctors in the world. Our hospitals are luxurious, and some think excessive.” >> Read More

New York Times: From the Start, Signs of Trouble at Health Portal – “For the past 12 days, a system costing more than $400 million and billed as a one-stop click-and-go hub for citizens seeking health insurance has thwarted the efforts of millions to simply log in. The growing national outcry has deeply embarrassed the White House, which has refused to say how many people have enrolled through the federal exchange. Even some supporters of the Affordable Care Act worry that the flaws in the system, if not quickly fixed, could threaten the fiscal health of the insurance initiative, which depends on throngs of customers to spread the risk and keep prices low.” >> Read More

Kaiser Family Foundation:  The Coverage Gap: Uninsured Poor Adults in States that Do Not Expand Medicaid – “The expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides a link between new private coverage options available through either Health Insurance Marketplaces or employers and the existing Medicaid program, which previously had many gaps in coverage for adults.However, the June 2012 Supreme Court ruling made the expansion of Medicaid optional for states, and as of September 2013, 26 states did not plan to implement the expansion.” >> Read More

CT Post: Obamacare a success so far? It’s hard to say – “ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — After more than a week in action, is a key feature of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul a success or a bust? Judging by the dearth of data, it’s virtually impossible to say. The federal government has released no comprehensive data on how many people have enrolled for health insurance using federally run exchanges, the online marketplaces being used in 36 states for residents to compare and buy insurance. In the 14 states running their own exchanges, the situation isn’t much better.” >> Read More

Huffington Post: Improving Our Nation’s Health, Community by Community – “A vital way to speed that progress is by recognizing that while heart disease and stroke are major threats for all Americans, certain segments of our population are hit the hardest. For instance, research shows African-Americans are disproportionately affected by high blood pressure and stroke, and Hispanic-Americans are disproportionately affected by diabetes. These are among many health disparities connected to race, ethnicity, gender and other factors. These gaps can stem from disadvantages such as poverty, inadequate health care access and educational inequalities. A harsh truth is that the most disadvantaged in society also often have the greatest need for preventive screenings and other health programs, yet have the least access to them. Moving forward, this can become even more of a crisis because these traditionally-underserved populations are growing.” >> Read More

Forbes: Shutdown Power Play: Stoking Racism, Fear Of Culture Change To Push Anti-Government Agenda – “They feel, in other words, that healthcare for the poor is yet another ‘bribe’ to permanently consolidate people of color in the Democratic column. While we may see Washington as gridlocked, many of them feel that Obama has completely gotten his way and that no one has effectively stood up to him. If you have this perspective, and you see the demographic shifts occurring in this country, you may fear what will happen when the US is no longer a white-majority nation.”  >> Read More

Kaiser Health News: Advocates Target Latinos in ACA Enrollment Outreach – “But in the two weeks since the marketplace opened, health care advocates across the state have encountered common obstacles getting Latinos registered, including limited access to computers and a lack of email addresses. Advocates are developing community-based strategies to overcome these obstacles, and to ensure that Latinos do not miss out on insurance options available through the Affordable Care Act, which requires most people to carry coverage beginning in 2014. >> Read More

CT Health Notes Blog: Medicaid performance dashboard unveiled; marked improvement with switch from HUSKY HMOs – “At Friday’s Medicaid Council meeting, DSS described their new ASO accountability dashboard with performance measures for the program. From January 2012, when the HMOs left the program, to this June the number of providers participating in CT’s program has grown 32%, hospital admissions are down 3.2%, the average length of stay is down 5%, and cost per admission is down $200 (2.7%).” >> Read More

Image Credit: iStock Photo

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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