Throughout American history, the tenacity that women advocates have shown in combating systematic inequities has proved to be an invaluable source of inspiration for each successive generation of health care activists. The significance of this legacy is well-captured in a quote from the late Dr. Gerta Lerner, an esteemed scholar of Women’s History, and a lifelong advocate for women’s rights: “Women’s history is women’s right — an essential, indispensable heritage from which we can draw pride, comfort, courage, and a long-range vision.”
Despite a divided Congress in Washington, many state policymakers around the country, supported by advocates, reached across the aisle to make needed improvements to the health care system.
Governors, lawmakers, and regulators made strides to expand health coverage, protect consumers in the insurance market, and address rising prescription drug prices. Here are some of the highlights of the 2016 sessions through June 1 and the Families USA allies whose advocacy was critical to making them happen.
The wide spectrum of those who filed briefs proves the enormity of support for the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance in general, and the continued availability of financial help for consumers (premium tax credits) in particular. Here’s a quick look at some of the individuals and groups who filed, along with the constituencies who would suffer if the Supreme Court rules in favor of withdrawing premium tax credits in states with federally facilitated marketplaces.
Today, Families USA issues a call to action in support of Health Reform 2.0 – a series of 19 specific proposals to improve health care for everyone in our nation. In the years ahead, we will build support for those proposals to hasten their adoption.
The timing for our proposals is challenging—many of you might reasonably wonder, at a point when the Affordable Care Act faces one of its most fundamental threats, is this the time to be thinking about the future of health care? Our answer is, “yes.”
Racial discrimination in the United States is pervasive and affects health outcomes and access to health care on multiple levels—from the interpersonal, to the institutional, to deeper structural divides. Such ingrained racism creates significant barriers for people of color, making it harder for them to get equal access to jobs, housing, education, and health care services.
Health care advocates across the nation are celebrating the milestone of nearly 11.7 million Americans gaining health insurance through the second open enrollment period of the Affordable Care Act. At the same time, the latest enrollment numbers from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have led some to characterize enrollment of communities of color as “lagging.” What is getting less attention is the new HHS data showing a huge reduction in the disproportionately high rates of uninsured people of color.
One aspect of the Affordable Care Act that has flown under the radar is its potential to increase employment in the health care sector for everyone, including people of color. Currently, health care employees comprise 12 percent of the labor force, making this sector the largest employer in the economy. The Affordable Care Act will only increase this share, not just because the newly insured will boost the demand for health care, but also because many who already have insurance will likely seek more preventive care than they did before.
Achieving Health Equity for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders requires recognizing their diversity and disaggregating data.
Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage month is an opportunity to focus on the many contributions these communities have made to build our nation over the generations, and their continued role in our future prosperity.
There has been an important and ongoing effort over the past decade to address the manifest failures of our health care system by changing payment and provider organization to reward value and not volume. But transformation efforts largely ignore one of our system’s most fundamental problems: persistent, extensive, severe, and costly health and health care inequities based on race, ethnicity, and geography, among other factors.
Did you know that over 4 million people in this country were born with a right to health care? Through treaties, American Indians and Alaska Natives were guaranteed the right to health care and protection from the United States government in exchange for land.