A few years ago, a handful of advocates might have gathered together to discuss the issue of health equity and best practices for engaging communities of color in policy campaigns. A few weeks ago at the Health Action conference hosted by Families USA, we packed a room with advocates, foundation staff and state officials from across the country who were eager to discuss this issue and go a step further to discuss meaningful engagement of communities of color in policy change.
As health care consumers, we can all agree that health care costs are too high. What we may not realize is that the “just in case” X-ray or CT scan that we request or that our doctor prescribes may be a major driver of these costs. But how do we know when “just in case” isn’t necessary or is potentially harmful?
In the past, women, people in less-than-perfect health, and older people were all charged much higher premiums than others—in fact, many were priced out of care. But, Obamacare changes that. The law alters the way that health plans can use an individual’s demographic and health information when setting premiums through the creation of new premium rating rules. This allows for a more even distribution of costs across all enrollees within the individual, non-group market (the market you buy coverage in if you don’t get it through your employer).
The budget fight is sure to heat up in the next couple of months in what seems like a never-ending battle between the President and Congress. So what’s at stake? Many lawmakers want to see large cuts to a range of health care programs—many of which reduce health disparities and provide vital services to millions of people of color. Such cuts would exact a heavy toll on the health of communities of color and only worsen racial inequities in health.
Last month, President Obama and leaders in Congress came to an agreement that temporarily avoided the fiscal cliff without major cuts to health care programs. It was a huge victory, but unfortunately it’s just a temporary one.
In just a few short weeks, Republicans in Congress will release their proposed budget, and they’ve been clear on what it will contain: tax breaks for giant corporations and major cuts to health care programs like Medicaid.
Despite his past critiques of the Affordable Care Act, Ohio Governor Kasich announced last Monday that his state will accept federal funds to expand Medicaid, effectively ensuring access to health coverage for hundreds of thousands of Ohioans.
My grandmother likes to complain—her feet hurt, she doesn’t understand the internet, kids these days. But the one thing she never complains about? Medicare.
You may know that the Affordable Care Act creates new health insurance marketplaces (often referred to as exchanges) that will make it easier to shop for coverage. But did you know that the new marketplaces will also protect you once you have insurance?
The Affordable Care Act sets standards that all insurance plans sold in the new marketplaces must meet. These standards require that:
For many of us, the budget battles seem to be endless and without progress, yet advocates for Medicaid should know that their voices are being heard. The clearest sign yet came from White House economic policy adviser Gene Sperling’s speech at Health Action 2013.
Last week, hundreds of state and national advocates gathered for Families USA’s annual Health Action conference in Washington, DC. For three days, advocates attended a variety of workshops and plenary sessions that covered everything from the Medicaid expansion to the federal budget, and many topics in between.