Tag: healthcare

Obama Headlines Rally in Support of Michigan Democrats

(photo by Callie Teitelbaum)

by Callie Teitelbaum

Former President Barack Obama spoke at a rally for the Michigan Democrats at Cass Tech High School in Detroit on October 27th. Thousands of people gathered outside Cass Tech waiting for the doors to open at 5:00 P.M.

The rally was held in support of the Michigan Democrats running for federal and local office in the midterm elections and emphasized the importance of voting on November 6th.

Obama was welcomed on stage by Debbie Stabenow, who is running for re-election to the U.S. senate, and the Cass Tech band at 8:00 P.M. Obama spoke about the importance of voting in the midterms.

“The main reason I am here is to make sure that all of you vote in what I believe might be the most important election of our lifetime,” Obama said. “The stakes in this election are really high. The consequences of sitting on the sidelines in this election are dangerous and profound because America is at a crossroads right now…the character of our country is on the ballot.”

Obama stated in his speech that politicians often try to scare, distract, and place voter rules on citizens to prevent them from voting. He mentioned examples of Americans being distracted in 2014 with the threat of Ebola, in 2016 with Hillary Clinton’s emails, and how “the most important thing” in this election is “a bunch of impoverished refugees a thousand miles away,” Obama said. He concluded that the American people must no longer fall for these diversions.

Obama enumerated upon what he said were lies of politicians, specifically, Republican candidates who are running campaigns in support of the the Affordable Care Act and protecting insurance for people with pre-existing conditions, despite their previous attempts to continuously overturn that law.

“What we have not seen before in our public life is politicians just blatantly, repeatedly, boldly, shamelessly, lie,” Obama said.

Obama endorsed Stabenow, saying she is the person who will protect healthcare for people with pre-existing conditions along with Elissa Slotkin, who took leave from CIA to take care of her mom, and is now the Democratic nominee for Michigan’s 8th congressional district.

Obama drew attention to the current administration who he claims continuously caters to America’s elite and how that must change. He endorsed voting on Proposal 2 and further condemned deceit by politicians. “When words stop meaning anything, when truth doesn’t matter, when people can just make up things, then democracy, it doesn’t work,” Obama said.

Obama later stated, “The only check on bad behavior is you and your vote.”

Obama made sure to list the vast number of issues that will take time to fix and said that while one election will not change everything, it is a start.“ The biggest threat to our democracy is indifference,” Obama said.

Prior to Obama’s speech, a variety of political figures spoke to either endorse candidates or campaign for their own nomination. The main political issues discussed included healthcare, public school education, women’s rights, and ending gerrymandering in the state of Michigan.

Continue reading “Obama Headlines Rally in Support of Michigan Democrats”

Lezley McSpadden, Mother of Slain Teen Michael Brown, Announces Candidacy for Ferguson City Council

Lezley McSpadden, whose son Michael Brown was fatally shot by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, four years ago, announced that she is running for city council in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. (photo via thegrio.com)

by Natasha S. Alford via thegrio.com

Lezley McSpadden says Michael would’ve wanted it.

The mother of 18-year-old Michael Brown, unarmed Black teenager who was shot to death by police officer Darren Wilson, is running for Ferguson City Council.

Four years after Brown’s death, McSpadden made the announcement Friday afternoon.

“Yesterday made four years for my son’s death. I thought that I would wake up and would be really sad… but when I woke up I had a different type of energy. I had a energy of get up out this bed and go.  You have work to do.” McSpadden told theGrio in an exclusive interview.

“[Michael] was just speaking to me, ‘Mom it’s time for you to shake it off. It’s time for you to do what you say you want to do.  And get justice for me.”

McSpadden’s announcement comes on the heels of another game-changing candidate, Wesley Bell, who beat out incumbent St. Louis County prosecutor, Bob McCulloch, in the Democratic primary.

McCullouch was criticized for how he handled Brown’s case and was accused of being “buddy buddy” with police. McSpadden says Bell supports her candidacy and inspires her. “Seeing him win for St. Louis County prosecutor gave me hope that I can do this.  That I can state adversity in the face and be the change my son needs,” said the 38-year old McSpadden.

McSpadden says she wants to use her platform to advocate for economic equality, access to health care, and a topic which surely hits close to home — community policing. “One of the things that I know to be true; the people who are employed as police officers do not live in this area, they are not familiar with the community or a regular John Doe who walks to and from the store. That’s a big issue.” McSpadden told theGrio.

McSpadden says she will advocate for building better community relations. “That should keep down this repeated pattern of words we hear in encounters ‘I fear for my life.’”

Despite battling with depression, McSpadden has worked diligently through her grief, going back to school for her high school diploma, traveling the world to speak about her son’s death and even writing a book.

“The only thing that has changed within me is time. People say ‘time heals all wounds— I don’t know if this wound will ever heal, but I’ve gotten wiser and educated myself to know. I’m putting my faith into God. I have no doubt that I’ll be elected.”

Source: https://thegrio.com/2018/08/10/lezley-mcspadden-mother-michael-brown-announces-candidacy-for-ferguson-city-council/

Health Disparities Narrowed for Blacks, Latinos Under Obamacare, Study Shows

A patient receives chemotherapy. (Simon Jarratt/Corbis/VCG / Getty Images)

by via nbcnews.com

Health care disparities among blacks and Latinos compared to whites have narrowed because of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, according to a study published by The Commonwealth Fund Thursday. The report found that the number of blacks and Latinos without health care coverage dropped during the first two years of the ACA’s coverage expansion.

From 2013 and 2015, the uninsured rate among blacks between ages 19-64 dropped 9 percent, and dropped 12 percent among uninsured Latinos ages 19-64, the study showed. The rate of uninsured whites dropped 5 percent. The disparity among uninsured blacks and whites also narrowed by 4 percent and among Latinos and whites narrowed 7 percent.

Dr. Pamela Riley, vice president of The Commonwealth Fund’s Delivery System Reform and a coauthor of the report, said although the study shows progress in health coverage for everyone, blacks and Latinos are still more likely than whites to not get the medical care they need. “If we are going to reduce these disparities, we must continue to focus on policies like expanding eligibility for Medicaid that will address our health care system’s historic inequities,” Riley said in a statement.

The analysis also found the number of uninsured Latino adults dropped 14 percent in states that expanded Medicaid coverage compared to 11 percent in states that did not. The number of uninsured black adults meanwhile fell 9 percent in states both with and without Medicaid expansion. And because of the decline in the number of uninsured, the number of adults ages 18 and older who reported skipping health care when they needed it because of high costs also declined.

After Senate Republicans failed to “repeal and replace” the current health care law, uncertainty looms around Obamacare’s future once Congress returns to Washington from recess. The Commonwealth Fund’s President Dr. David Blumenthal said improving the ACA will continue to help minorities get access to health care.

To read full article, go to: Health Disparities Narrowed for Blacks, Latinos Under Obamacare, Study Shows – NBC News

Trump Administration, Facing Pressure, Agrees to Keep Making Crucial Affordable Care Act Payments

by David Lauter via latimes.com

The Trump administration, faced with increasing pressure from Republican members of Congress, agreed Wednesday to continue giving insurance companies payments that are widely viewed as critical to keeping markets stable under the Affordable Care Act.

Trump and his top aides have flirted for months with cutting off the money, known as cost-sharing reduction payments. Doing so would be one step toward causing the healthcare law to “implode” — as Trump has sometimes put it. Republican members of Congress, however, have worried that any move to cut off the payments would cause chaos in insurance markets. Trump has said voters would blame Democrats for any problems with the markets, but few Republican elected officials share that view.

The pressure to continue the payments increased Tuesday when the Congressional Budget Office reported that cutting off the payments would actually increase federal spending because ending them would cause insurance premiums to rise sharply, and thereby increase the cost of other government subsidies. A White House official confirmed Wednesday that the administration had decided to make this month’s payment, which will total around $600 million. The question of whether to make future payments remains under review.

To read full article, go to: Trump administration agrees to continue healthcare subsidy for now – LA Times

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Affordable Care Act aka “Obamacare”

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 10.17.52 AM

The United States Supreme Court has upheld a key portion of President Barack Obama‘s healthcare law in a 6-3 decision.  The court ruled the law made subsidies available for people in all 50 states, not just those who bought insurance through a state exchange.

Thursday’s decision is a major victory for the Obama administration.  “We’ve got more work to do, but what we’re not going to do is unravel what has now been woven into the fabric of America,” Mr Obama said.

The high court case was the second major challenge to the healthcare law – often known as Obamacare – since its passage.  “Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the opinion.

If the law had been overturned, 6.4 million Americans would have been at risk of losing aid.

The 2010 law set up a federally run insurance exchange where Americans who were not covered by employers or other U.S. health programs could buy health insurance.

_83865579_img_3952Opponents argue that a phrase included in the law, “established by the state,” demonstrated that the healthcare subsidies should have only been available for people in states that set up exchanges.

However, most Americans receiving subsidies purchase healthcare through the federal exchange after many states decided not to set up their own marketplaces.

The Obama administration argued that was a too-narrow reading of the law, which spans nearly 1,000 pages, and the rest of the legislation makes clear subsidies are intended for those who meet income requirements, regardless of which exchange insurance was purchased from.

Justice Roberts voted with liberal colleagues in support of the law. He was also the key vote to uphold it in a 2012 case. Justice Anthony Kennedy dissented in 2012, but sided with the majority on Thursday.

Justice Anthony Scalia’s wrote in his dissent that the Supreme Court is setting a precedent of favouring some laws over others.

“We should start calling this law SCOTUS care” Justice Scalia’s wrote. “Today’s interpretation is not merely unnatural; it is unheard of.”

The upholding of the law cements President Obama’s biggest legislative victory.

Continue reading “U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Affordable Care Act aka “Obamacare””

Martin Luther King Hospital in Los Angeles Set to Reopen in Early 2015

mlk set to reopenThe embattled Los Angeles’ Martin Luther King Jr. Hospital is set to reopen in early 2015 according to hospital officials, giving residents in its surrounding community access to much needed care as well as job opportunities. The hospital originally opened in 1972 serving the African American and Latino community with various types of medical services until the year 2007. The “heaven sent” hospital as it is known to many members of the community was shut down due to high patient deaths, unqualified staff, hygiene issues, and medical scandals. The shut down resulted in the loss of hospital jobs and lack of nearby emergency rooms for the community.

According to the MLK Community hospital website, “The hospital is expected to serve 1.2 million residents from all over South Los Angeles including Compton, Inglewood, Watts-Willowbrook and Lynwood.”

Not only will the hospital create jobs for people in the community, but it will also provide more than 10 inpatient and outpatient services including but not limited to Anesthesiology, Cardiology-medical and diagnostic, Emergency medicine, Endocrinology and Gastroenterology. The new hospital will also have 131 beds, a 21-bed emergency department, a critical care unit, and labor and delivery services.

“We’re not done yet, we have a lot to do and we are going to do it,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “We are putting in the kind of services that meet the needs and the demands of that population.”

The hospital will take new measures to ensure and decrease hospital scandals, hygiene issues, and unqualified staff by hiring the highest quality staff and using modern day technology. The hospitals mission is to “provide compassionate, collaborate, quality care and improve the health of our community. Our vision is to be a leading model of innovation, collaboration and community health care.”

For more information visit: http://www.mlkcommunityhospital.org

article by Kimberlee Buck via lasentinel.net

Celebrities Show Their Support For Obamacare With #GetCovered

Kerri Washington #Get CoveredCelebrities are taking to social media outlets to show their support for the new “Obamacare” law in a big way. Using the #Get Covered hashtag, they are trying to help educate the public on how they can begin to sign up for health care.  

Many of the newly eligible citizens that will be signing up will in fact be getting health care insurance for the very first time so this is really cool to see.  Singer John Legend tweeted:

“F the shutdown. The Health Insurance Marketplace is now open in every state. Don’t wait another day to #GetCovered!”

Pearl Jam tweeted:

“If you want to make sense of the whole healthcare thing, or just want to #GetCovered, check out http://www.healthcare.gov #KnowYourOptions,”

Some celebrities are taking photos of themselves with the #Get Covered hashtag and posting them like the ones below (actress Kerry Washington is pictured above). 

Get Covered Collage

Funny or Die created a “Scandal” spoof called Scandalous with Jennifer Hudson to get people information about the new ACA (Obamacare) program and how to sign up for it. Click here to see that video.)

According to Huffington Post, comedian John Hodgman and actress Martha Plimpton used their Twitter streams as Obamacare forums. Plimpton spent time retweeting messages from her followers saying what they like about the law, while Hodgman’s stream included young adults tweeting about health problems they had encountered.

Tweeted Hodgman:

“Young people: sign up for healthcare. Take it from me–YOU ARE NOT IMMORTAL,”

 It’s great to know that some people embrace their platforms and try to do good things with them. Let us not forget celebrities are members of society too! They do care about the world they live in just the same as anyone else does. They do have a voice.

article by Skyyhook via theurbandaily.com

Obama Administration Starts to Implement “Obamacare”

Obama To Black College And Universities: 'You've Got A Partner In Me'The Obama administration is ramping up its plans to implement the so-called Obamacare health care law, with speeches from the president, new aides tasked with selling the law to the public and a broad push to get people to enroll for health insurance all coming in the next several months.

To lay the groundwork for the broader public, top administration officials are holding briefings with key members of the press and stakeholders. Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett recently met with more than 100 African-American leaders from across the country to talk about the law. President Obama is increasingly mentioning Obamacare in his speeches.

The White House has hired a special communications adviser, veteran Democratic strategist Tara McGuinness, to help rebut criticism of the law from both Republicans and increasingly some Democrats and improve public opinion about the Affordable Care Act.

Continue reading “Obama Administration Starts to Implement “Obamacare””

Sixty Four Year-Old Mozambican Margarida Matsinhe Wins Prestigious Vaccine Innovation Award

Photo: Benoit Marquet/Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Ms. Margarida Matsinhe (left) has worked in vaccine delivery in Mozambique for more than 30 years.

Sixty-four-year-old Margarida Matsinhe has won the 2013 Gates Vaccine Innovation Award for her “instrumental” work in overhauling the vaccine system in her native Mozambique.

Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, made the announcement on Wednesday in his annual letter. The award recognizes “revolutionary ways” for immunizing the world’s poorest children. Nominees are assessed on innovation and creativity, impact and scale.

Matsinhe, a field officer with the non-profit Village Reach, has worked in vaccine delivery in Mozambique for more than 30 years, including during the country’s civil war and post-war reconstruction period. She currently serves on the government’s Committee of Experts on Immunisation and advises leaders on vaccine quality and distribution strategies.

Partly as a result of her work, Mozambique has achieved vaccine coverage of 95 percent, but Matsinhe says her goal is no less than 100 percent.

Continue reading “Sixty Four Year-Old Mozambican Margarida Matsinhe Wins Prestigious Vaccine Innovation Award”

Republican Resistance of Obamacare Lessens As Implementation Begins

Obamacare

Obamacare supporters react to the U.S. Supreme Court decision to uphold President Obama’s health care law, on June 28, 2012 in Washington, DC. Today the high court upheld the whole healthcare law of the Obama Administration. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

This is an easy way for these Republicans to suggest to their party’s base they still oppose Obamacare, but the practical effect is that it gives the Obama administration more power, since the federal government will run the exchange in states where the governor refuses to set one up.

Continue reading “Republican Resistance of Obamacare Lessens As Implementation Begins”