by Agustin Durán. To read the original Spanish-language article in La Opinión, click here. (Para leer este artículo en español, haga clic aquí.)
For several decades, activist Martha Ugarte has been counseling immigrants to protect themselves from abuse and defending them from becoming victims of authorities and unscrupulous businesses. But in January 2019, the immigrant from Oaxaca, Mexico, had to defend herself.
Suddenly, her husband began to have stomach pains, and they had no choice but to take him to a hospital emergency room. After paying a $240 co-payment and enduring four hours of exams, they were told he needed surgery to remove stones from his gallbladder. They sought a second opinion and he finally managed.... Read More
The Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. As an Activist for Health Reform
On January 15, 1929, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. King’s family always knew that he was special, but no one knew how special he would turn out to be, with his influence still being felt today. As one of the most prominent leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. King united Americans to fight racism and oppression via civil disobedience and nonviolent protesting. What is less well known about Dr. King is that his vision for a better America included abolishing health injustice.
“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhuman.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
We seldom talk about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s.... Read More
New Data Show ACA Is Reducing Racial Disparities in Health Coverage
Since the passage of the ACA over 20 million people have gained access to health insurance coverage through the Marketplace. A recent issue brief from the Commonwealth Fund reaffirms that substantially lowering uninsurance rates nationwide has also led to reductions in racial and ethnic disparities in health coverage. The health coverage gains have been most pronounced for minority groups and individuals with incomes below 139 percent of the federal poverty level.
Before the passage of the ACA, Latinx people had the highest initial uninsurance rate. Black people also had higher initial uninsurance rates than whites. Therefore, a reduction of.... Read More
Take action: Submit a comment to protect health care rights for all
Health is a human right, and that is why we believe that a patient’s health should come first. The Trump Administration has introduced a new proposed rule that would radically reinterpret civil rights protections under the Health Care Rights Law (Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act) for people who are limited English proficient (LEP). This includes changing how US Department of Health and Human Services and federal and state health insurance marketplaces must comply with the law, limiting enforcement of civil rights, and.... Read More
What Is At Stake For Vietnamese Communities If The Affordable Care Act Is Struck Down?
Every year on April 30, many Vietnamese living across the globe commemorate what they term the end of the Vietnamese war (also known as the American war in Vietnam). Whatever side we were on, the war and its aftermath forever remain painful and frightening and continue to affect the health and wellbeing of the Vietnamese population.
After the war, my family and I joined over a million other Vietnamese immigrants who made the journey to reside in.... Read More
During our recent visit to Montgomery, Alabama, we had the opportunity to confront our nation’s gruesome history of slavery, mass incarceration and racism, while also being able to witness descendants of that history participating in democracy, lifting up their voices to make sure their elected officials heard them – and elevating our faith in our democracy in the process.
When it comes to health care, what matters varies from person to person and differs depending on your state of health or illness. For one person, it might mean feeling well enough to care for an active young grandchild three days a week. For another person nearing the end of life, it might mean alleviating pain or being lucid enough to have one more conversation.
However, when we near death or become seriously.... Read More
What’s At Stake In Trump Promise To Roll Back ACA Nondiscrimination Rule?
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes a groundbreaking nondiscrimination provision known as Section 1557, or the “Health Care Rights Law,” which serves as the first federal law to prohibit sex discrimination in health care. Section 1557 is critical to protecting women and LGBTQ individuals from discrimination in health care. Unfortunately, Section 1557 is not immune from ongoing efforts to sabotage the ACA: The Trump Administration indicated that it intends to roll back or repeal parts of the rule that the Obama administration issued in 2016 implementing Section 1557.
What is Section 1557 and how did the Obama rule interpret it?
If health care advocacy were a sport, there’d be no question about our defensive strategy. Much of our collective efforts over the last few years have centered around defeating threats to Medicaid and Medicare, and protecting the Affordable Care Act. Defense is crucial; defense is where games are lost. And defense is exciting. There’s a palpable urgency in the crunch to defend needed programs that piques the interest of otherwise passive spectators, and as our state partners have.... Read More
Southeast Asian Americans Speak Out to Protect Affordable Healthcare
For many Southeast Asian Americans, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal fight last year felt personal.
When the ACA was first passed, uninsured rates in Cambodian, Hmong, Lao, and Vietnamese American communities were high. Compared to the 15% of Americans overall who did not have health insurance in 2011, 20% of Cambodian, 20% of Vietnamese, 19% of Laotian, and 16% of Hmong Americans were uninsured. Too many families used emergency rooms as last-resort healthcare providers or went for years without regular check-ups.
Only four years later in 2015, the uninsured rate was cut in half. Thousands of families were finally accessing the preventative and life-saving care that they needed. Some accessed care through the healthcare exchange, supported by subsidies to.... Read More