Medicaid

Recent Articles

Millions of Blacks left uninsured by states opting out of Affordable Care Act

By Freddie Allen

Contributing Writer

 

As the Obama administration makes strides to improve the functionality of HealthCare.gov, the flagship website for the Affordable Care Act, Republican lawmakers continue to block federal funds that would help millions of poor Blacks get health insurance coverage. A progress report on the improved performance of HealthCare.gov cited hundreds of software bugs that generate errors and hardware and infrastructure ill-equipped to handle any significant volume of traffic to the site. “For some weeks in the month of October [2013], the site was down an estimated 60 percent of the time,” stated the progress report. Two months later, after insiders revealed that the site crashed on a test run with just a few hundred concurrent users, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) officials said the site is more stable and can handle 50,000 users at a time. Anton Gunn, director of external affairs in the Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs (IEA) at HHS, said that in the first two months, 1.2 million Americans selected marketplace health insurance plans or they received a determination that they were eligible for Medicaid or the children’s health insurance program. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Basics of the nation’s new healthcare law

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Dr. Dionne Hart, MD

What is the law known as “Obamacare” or the Affordable Care Act (ACA)? In March 2010, President Barack Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 that collectively reform healthcare access.  

What is the mandatory insurance provision? By 2014, most U.S. citizens and legal residents are required to obtain minimal essential health insurance coverage or pay a penalty or $95 per year or one percent of income, whichever is greater. The penalty will increase to $325 per year or two percent by 2015 and $695 or 2.5 percent by 2016. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

How much do we value Black gay men?

By Paul Kawata

Guest Commentator

 

For decades, Bayard Rustin has been one of the least known, yet prolific, contributors to the civil rights movement. Rustin served as the brains behind the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, managing to coordinate and promote the event in just two months. But, as a gay man, Rustin was kept in the shadows by the homophobia of both his enemies and his allies at the time. August 28 marked the 50th anniversary of Rustin’s effort to collectivize a racial and economic rally that became a watershed moment for contemporary civil rights. Rustin emblemizes both a contemporary and historic fight for racial equality, which is now accompanied by a quest for economic justice, as well as gay rights. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Sebelius and Holder address NAACP convention — Speeches focused on Zimmerman verdict, Affordable Care Act, voting rights

 

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

 

In light of the recent George Zimmerman not-guilty verdict, both U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius last week stressed the importance of civil rights during their scheduled appearances at the NAACP national convention in Orlando, Fla. The attorney general called for “a respectful, responsible dialogue about issues of justice and equality.”

“The death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy for his family, but also for our country,” Sebelius pointed out. “So are the tragedies of all the children we have lost because of gun violence before and since Trayvon was killed.” She and Holder spoke separately to the NAACP July 16, three days after the Zimmerman trial ended on July 13. “Across America, diverse groups of citizens, from all races, backgrounds and walks of life are instead overwhelmingly making their voices heard” in disagreeing with the verdict, said Holder. “I hope that we will continue to approach this necessarily difficult dialogue with the same dignity that those who have lost the most — Trayvon’s parents — have demonstrated throughout the last year, and especially over the past few days.”

“The president hasn’t given up on pushing forward on commonsense gun violence prevention efforts,” reaffirmed the HHS secretary. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Single payer health care essential to reducing healthcare disparities

By Andrea Parrott

Contributing Writer 

 

After daily witnessing situations in which patients suffered or had to make decisions detrimental to their health due to difficulties in accessing health care, Dr. Elizabeth Frost and Dr. Ann Settgast had enough. They felt they had to do something that would allow everyone to have health insurance and access to health care. The two decided to found the Minnesota chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP). PNHP is a national nonprofit organization whose members advocate for single- payer health care. The idea of single-payer health care is that instead of people paying fees to a private health insurance company, they will pay one fund. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Medicaid expansion: more insured at state-budget savings

ACA advocates predict uninsured Blacks will drop from 20 to eight percent
 

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

The Greater United Way held a “community conversation” December 4 at the Wilder Foundation in St. Paul on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and how it can help low-income uninsured Minnesotans. Minnesota Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson and NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center CEO Stella Whitney-West, HealthPartners Government and Community Relations Vice President Donna Zimmerman and Jonathan Watson, Minnesota Association of Community Health Programs associate director spoke to an audience mainly composed of local health professionals. One-half of NorthPoint’s clientele are on Medicaid, the federal health program for low-income individuals and families. Thirty-seven percent are uninsured and 80 percent are from communities of color, Whitney-West pointed out. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Deficits, deceit, and Social Security

 

By Norman and Velma Hill

Guest Commentators

 

 

Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are the foundations for the wellbeing of scores of millions of middle- and low-income Americans. Without Social Security, 14 million more low-income Americans would be living in poverty. Because of Medicare, 33 million older people live longer, have access to quality care, and are not driven into poverty by rapidly rising healthcare costs. Medicaid is a healthcare boon to Americans not yet eligible for Medicare, which covers some 60 million Americans. Because of historical and lingering discrimination, racial minorities in particular need these programs. Overall, they have less income and fewer assets than Whites, so a higher percentage of their retirement income comes from Social Security benefits. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Redistribution needed when the rich reap what the poor sow

“I know there are some who believe that if you simply take from some and give to others, then we’ll all be better off. It’s known as redistribution. It’s never been a characteristic of America… I believe the way to lift people and help people have higher incomes is not to take from some and give to others, but to create wealth for all of us,” said Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney recently. Of course the formula that Romney describes has worked quite well for the one percent. That is exactly how they have enriched themselves: They have taken from others and given to themselves. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,