Congress is locked in a budget battle that’s grabbed round-the-clock media attention. Lost in the coverage are the real stakes in the debate, including the lives of the more than 50 million people covered by Medicaid, which is now in the budget-cutting cross-hairs. More than half of these 50 million are people of color. Racial disparities in health coverage have already reached alarming proportions. Cuts to Medicaid would make these disparities even worse, taking a toll on the real lives of real people.
The experiences and perspectives of some of these real people are captured in Medicaid Makes a Difference: Protecting Medicaid, Advancing Racial Equity, from the Alliance for a Just Society and 14 members of its Health Rights Organizing Project, a network of grassroots organizations across the country committed to the fight for health equity.
Nearly a year after the passage of health care reform, the Alliance for a Just Society convened members of its Health Rights Organizing Project, a national collaboration of grassroots community organizations working on health care, to reflect on that victory and to develop next steps in the long march towards an equitable health care system. This was the first face-to-face meeting of the coalition since health reform was made law in March 2010. Continue reading
Health care reform, if fully realized, will provide health insurance coverage for an additional 30 million people in America. One of the main ways this will happen is through the creation of centralized health insurance marketplaces, or “state exchanges.” If set up properly and well, people without insurance will be able to go to their state exchange and acquire quality health insurance at affordable prices. Members of the Health Rights Organizing Project (HROP) are engaged in implementation campaigns to make sure there is no “if” about how these exchanges are set up. Continue reading
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is currently creating the regulations that basically put the meat on the bones of this country’s health care reform law. It is the outcome of these rule-making decisions that will determine the success, or failure, of reform. NWFCO, with the Health Rights Organizing Project, has been weighing in on key aspects of reform that have been prioritized by the communities with which we work. One key issue is addressing the linguistic barriers limited English proficient (LEP) people face when trying to access health insurance coverage and medical care in the current system. Continue reading
Almost nine percent of people in the United States are of limited English proficiency. To understand and navigate their health insurance–and get the care they require–they need access to competent interpretation and translation. Access to such language services is a matter of civil rights and is currently under threat by new rules established by Health and Human Services. Upon learning the news last week, the Health Rights Organizing Project (HROP) sprung into action. Continue reading
On Tuesday, September 14, NWFCO organized a meeting in Washington, D.C. with the Department of Health of Human Services to discuss the importance of language access in health care. Members from NWFCO and several organizations from the Health Rights Organizing Project, including Make the Road New York, The Community Service Society of New York, The National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC), and Washington Community Action Network, had the ear of many folks within HHS, including representatives from the Offices of Health Reform, Civil Rights, External Affairs, and Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight. Continue reading
“If the Indian Health Service was fully funded, we would be able to implement some of the programs we can’t currently offer. And I believe there would be a direct correlation between increased funding and improved health status for Native people.” –Dr. Donna Polk-Primm, CEO, Nebraska Urban Indian Health Coalition Continue reading