HCAO News

Report: Racial Discrimination Severely Undermines Black Women’s Health

All too often, when women of color are concerned about things outside of what appears to be the predominant white woman’s agenda, they aren’t considered "women’s issues." But, we cannot tell women of color what issues are important to them. (StoryOfAmerica / YouTube)

All too often, when women of color are concerned about things outside of what appears to be the predominant white woman’s agenda, they aren’t considered "women’s issues." But, we cannot tell women of color what issues are important to them. (StoryOfAmerica / YouTube)

by Elizabeth Dawes Gay, Reproductive Health Technologies Project
August 13, 2014
This piece is published in collaboration with Echoing Ida, a Forward Together project.

On Wednesday, August 13, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination begins a two-day review of the United States government’s efforts, or lack thereof, to address pervasive racial discrimination in law and practice. When the United States ratified the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination in 1994, it consented to a periodic review by human rights experts of its progress toward meeting the goals in the treaty. The last time such a review was conducted was 2008, when the committee expressed specific concern about persistent and worsening disparities in sexual, reproductive, and maternal health in the United States—particularly for Black women—and offered recommendations about how the country could reduce those disparities.

It’s no secret that Black women are more likely than others to experience negative maternal health outcomes, such as preterm birth or stillbirth, to suffer from conditions like preeclampsia, and to die at higher rates from pregnancy-related causes. A new shadow report, Reproductive Injustice: Racial and Gender Discrimination in U.S. Health Care, by the Center for Reproductive Rights, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, and SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective shares some alarming data on maternal health outcomes as well as disturbing firsthand accounts of the racial discrimination experienced by Black women.

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Our Health Care Dead Matter Less Than War Dead?

caption: "We cannot stop people from getting sick or hurt, but we can stop killing them with our lack of action to change the system that snuffs out their lives," writes Donna Smith. (Photo: Public Citizen)

caption: "We cannot stop people from getting sick or hurt, but we can stop killing them with our lack of action to change the system that snuffs out their lives," writes Donna Smith. (Photo: Public Citizen)

Published on Monday, August 11, 2014 in Common Dreams
By Donna Smith

The photos are horrific of the dead and injured from the most recent escalation of warfare in Palestine.  Seeing dead children who have their small bodies ripped apart by weapons of war forces me (and others I suspect) to confront the realities of our violent, war-prone world.  I hate war.  It hurts to see the photos, and I always have a hard time understanding why we have all had to assert our power since the beginning of recorded history by killing one another.  Will we ever advance beyond settling our differences with war?

Then I also think about the 123 people dying every day in the U.S. without access to the health care that might have saved their lives.  This is a war too.  It is a war waged by the rich and powerful against those without enough money or power.  People suffer and die needlessly and invisibly since no one takes their photos or speaks of them on the evening news.  Do their lives matter less than those of the war dead in the Middle east?  Apparently so.  Or we'd see the pictures and we'd hear the stories and we'd stop blaming these health care dead for not being rich enough or powerful enough to access care.

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Medicare fight ain’t over, Wyden says

Senator Wyden

Senator Wyden

Jul 2, 2014, 1:29pm PDT 
by  Elizabeth Hayes ,
Staff Reporter- Portland Business Journal

Sen. Ron Wyden may not have been able to pass the Medicare payment reform he wanted this spring, but don’t count out the possibility of it happening yet this year.

A defiant Wyden told the Business Journal staff he is still determined to overhaul the “sustainable growth-rate formula” (known as SGR), which the Senate has patched 17 times since 1997 to prevent steep cuts to physicians.

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U.S. doctors migrating north

by Wendy Glauser
CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal), June 19, 2014

TORONTO -- With the prospect of greater pay, fewer bureaucratic headaches and the opportunity to provide better care for patients, the number of American doctors migrating north is rising, according to Canadian recruiters and Canadian Medical Association data.

Susan Craig, president of the Toronto-based physician recruiter, Susan Craig Associates, said that Canada is becoming "increasingly attractive," while John Philpott, the Halifax-based chief executive director of Can-Am Recruiting, noted "interest is doubling each year for American doctors" seeking to move north.

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Chicago Jobs with Justice endorses H.R. 676

Single Payer News, June 22, 2014

The Chicago chapter of Jobs with Justice has endorsed H.R. 676, national single-payer legislation sponsored by Congressman John Conyers of Michigan. H.R. 676 is also called “Expanded and Improved Medicare for All.”

Susan Hurley, executive director of Chicago Jobs with Justice, commented on the resolution: “Single-payer health care has to be our ultimate goal in the United States. It is the only humane and civilized choice, as well as being the best choice for health outcomes and cost.”

“The longer the delay, the deeper our shame in the eyes of the world and future generations,” Hurley stated.

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Fight for Health Care Justice Moves to States

[Note: Lee Mercer is misquoted in this article; we don't have 800 member organizations! We wish we did, though.]

A Vermonter testified at a state senate hearing on universal health care. “Our most powerful organizing tool was to get people to tell their own stories about the injustices of the for-profit health care system,” one organizer said. Photo: Vermont Workers Center.

A Vermonter testified at a state senate hearing on universal health care. “Our most powerful organizing tool was to get people to tell their own stories about the injustices of the for-profit health care system,” one organizer said. Photo: Vermont Workers Center.

by Mark Dudzic and Jenny Brown for Labor Notes, June 13, 2014

Following the lead of tiny Vermont, advocates of Medicare for All are developing state campaigns to win health care that eliminates insurance companies and covers everyone.

Beginning in 2017, the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, allows the federal government to grant a waiver to any state that wants to introduce “innovations”—provided the coverage is at least as comprehensive, extensive, and affordable as coverage under the ACA.

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