Posts for Health Equity

Puerto Rico and the Territories Face Medicaid Cliff: Congress Must Act

Earlier this month, the US House Energy and Commerce committee held hearings inviting one government representative overseeing the administration of Medicaid from each territory to testify their respective needs for long-term program funding.

The Trump Administration Is Escalating Its Attack On People With Pre-existing Conditions

The Trump administration is flexing its administrative and judicial muscles to limit access to health coverage and deny people with pre-existing conditions access to care.

Senate Takes Bipartisan Step to Address Health Care Costs and Equity

Last week, the Senate HELP Committee held a hearing on a bipartisan cost containment package, dubbed the Alexander-Murray bill.

Congress Can Make Health Care Better While Building the Path to Universal Coverage

Tomorrow, the House Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing entitled “Pathways to Universal Coverage.” We applaud House leaders for encouraging serious discussion about the road to universal health coverage. Beyond that, we hope this is the beginning, rather...

New Levers to Improve the Health of Students

Schools across the United States are recognizing the need to support young people struggling with mental illness and substance misuse.

Proposal to Change Official Poverty Measure Endangers Health and Well-Being of Millions of Low-Income Americans

On May 7, the Trump administration launched yet another attack on low-income individuals. In a notice on the Federal Register, the administration proposed a change to the Census Bureau’s Official Poverty Measure (OPM) calculation that will effectively block millions of...

Eldercare Voices: Marking Older Americans Month: A Conversation With Byllye Avery on the Health Challenges Older Black Women Face

May is Older Americans Month, a perfect time to better understand some of the health-related challenges facing older Black women in the United States.

May Brings Stormy Weather

The old adage “April showers brings May flowers” does not seem to hold true this spring as we witness a pickup in stormy weather emanating from Washington.

What Is At Stake For Vietnamese Communities If The Affordable Care Act Is Struck Down?

After the war, my family and I joined over a million other Vietnamese immigrants who made the journey to reside in the U.S. and try the best we could to make it our second home.

Confronting the Wounds of Racism

During our recent visit to Montgomery, Alabama, we had the opportunity to confront our nation’s history of slavery, mass incarceration and racism, while also having our faith in our democracy elevated by witnessing energetically engaged consumer advocacy.

The Moral Imperative of Responsible Advocacy: An Educator’s Perspective on Dental Therapy

I teach an introductory dental public health course for first-year dental students. The course encourages students to use the scientific literature as the basis for developing evidence-based solutions to public health problems.

State And Federal Policy Action To Address Black Maternal Health Disparities

This week marks the second annual Black Maternal Health Week, which runs through April 17. The Black Mamas Matter Alliance (BMMA) has organized this week’s activities, and Community Catalyst is proud to be a co-sponsor.

Beyond Visibility: Building a Health System that Supports Trans Lives

On International Transgender Day of Visibility, we are celebrating the increased access to gender-affirming care for TNB people under the Affordable Care Act, but also acknowledge the latest attempts by the Trump administration to undo this progress.

Schools Health Gains Momentum….One SPA at a Time

In 2014, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a state Medicaid director letter that gives states the ability to allow local education agencies (LEAs) to expand their school-based Medicaid programs

North Carolina Secures School-Based Medicaid Services to Keep Kids Healthy and In the Classroom

In February, North Carolina received CMS approval to expand Medicaid school-based services, creating a new opportunity to support both school based providers like Nurse Smith and expand health services.

Trump’s 2020 Budget – A Laundry List of Failed and Unpopular Policies

The newly-released 2020 budget from President Trump proposes policies and significant cuts would make health care harder to access and afford. Not only that, but they are policies that broad swaths of the American people have already opposed.

The Opioid Crisis in Black Communities: Who is Paying Attention?

As overdose deaths are rapidly increasing in many Black communities, we ask who is paying attention, and more importantly, who is taking action?

Fighting for Families: Five Health Care Policies State Legislators Should Push this Session

This week state legislators across the country are engaging in an annual week of action to lift up policies that promote economic opportunity and security for all families.

Screening for Social Needs: How Medicaid Can Address Social Determinants of Health

Several states are in the beginning stages of allowing their Medicaid program to deliver care to patients in ways that address their health-related social needs.

Building Blocks for Change: Focusing on Trauma and Children’s Mental Health in 2019

In 2018, Community Catalyst created our Top Five Health Equity Priorities for Kids to provide a blueprint for targeted advocacy. This blueprint focused on safeguarding health care access, pursuing innovation models that address the needs of the whole family and...

Deadline Approaching: Help Us Push Back Against Harmful Changes to Public Charge Rule!

Immigrant families remain the target of unjust policies that threaten their access to health care services and increase the fear of family separation. One of these latest attacks is the proposed changes to the public charge policy.

After the Elections: What’s Next? A Look at Social and Economic Health Determinants

Here are three key ways health care advocates can help the health care system engage proactively on SDOH

Message from Community Catalyst on the Deadly Attack on the Tree of Life Congregation

Today, we are grieving yet another senseless act of violence, a crime motivated by hatred and carried out in a sacred place of worship.

For People Living with HIV/AIDS, the Revised Public Charge Rule Could Mean Life or Death

Expansion of 'public charge' would incite a public health crisis and worsen the HIV/AIDS epidemic by undermining the ability of immigrants living with HIV/AIDS meet their health care needs.

Dedicated Community Members Leading by Example in Rhode Island

In 2016, Rhode Island established a consumer-led Implementation Council (IC) for the state’s dual eligible demonstration project, the Integrated Care Initiative (ICI). This body is a community member-led council that is supported by the state’s Executive Office of Human Services...

A Step Forward to Address the Mental and Behavioral Health Needs of Children and Families in Turbulent Times

We are in the midst of chaotic times: from dramatic increases in drug overdose deaths to school shootings to contentious public discussions of sexual assault. Although we are sometimes able to shield our children from witnessing or experiencing traumatic events,...

Policy-Community Partnerships in Oral Health Advocacy: An Example in Celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month

Latinx advocates have been leaders and partners in the strong health advocacy work across the country. In Virginia, advocates played a key role in the recent Medicaid expansion victory.

Connecticut Strives for Primacy of Health Equity in Primary Care

Connecticut’s federally funded effort to introduce primary care innovations (through the State Innovation Model or SIM grant) is entering its final years of implementation.

Integrating Care for Kids: A New Model and a Promising Opportunity

This is the first of two blogs on Integrated Care for Kids (InCK). Stay tuned for our upcoming blog on leveraging InCK for substance use prevention.

What’s At Stake In Trump Promise To Roll Back ACA Nondiscrimination Rule?

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.

Joining Forces for Health Justice in East Nashville

Through our Partnering for Community Health project, we are collaborating to identify ways to support the health and well-being of children, families and seniors living in the James A. Cayce Homes, a low-income housing development.

Pride Month Profile: An Advocate’s Vision of Intersectional LGBTQ Health Advocacy

This LGBTQ Pride Month, we sat down with Naushaba Patel from the Lesbian Health Initiative (LHI) of Houston to talk about what pride means and Naushaba’s vision for LGBTQ-empowering health programs.

Coming Together for Health and Justice in the City of ‘Brotherly Love’

As part of our Partnering for Community Health project, we are building relationships and finding opportunities to support women in reentry as they navigate access to health care coverage.

Community Health Workers Provide an Important Service - Now Let’s Get Them Sustainable Funding!

Recently, a woman came to the Hispanic Health Council (HCC) seeking help with housing. It was only during the visit that Maria, a Community Health Worker (CHW) who works with pregnant and postpartum women at HHC, learned that the woman...

We Must Continue to Act to Address Gun Violence and Its Impact on Kids

Once again, our children have been confronted with another horrific, deadly school shooting.

Rule Threatens Coverage of Critical Women’s Health Services

Before the Affordable Care Act (ACA), only 12 percent of individual health insurance plans covered maternity care.

Anti-immigrant policies are hurting children’s oral health

We should all be able to care for our children’s oral health regardless of our immigration status. But today, U.S. immigration policies are blocking many immigrant families from getting their children needed dental care.

Census Citizenship Question Jeopardizes Access to Critical Health Services for Immigrants and People of Color

Every ten years, the federal government fulfills its constitutional mandate to take an accurate count of how many people live in our country. Last week, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross approved the Justice Department’s last-minute request to include a citizenship...

Black Maternal Health Week Highlights Racial Disparities

When tennis star Serena Williams recently revealed her near-death experience following the birth of her daughter, she called new attention to an alarming and persistent health disparity.

Medicaid Protects America's Children

This blog is part of our Medicaid Awareness Month series, in which we highlight the ways that Medicaid supports the health of vulnerable populations. Guest bloggers for the series are state advocates.

Honoring Women’s History in the Fight for Health Care

“The personal is political” was the unofficial slogan of the women’s liberation movement in the 1960s and 1970s.

Happy 8th Birthday, ACA: Celebrating the ACA’s Important Role in Improving Health Equity

Eight years ago today, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) became law of the land, and this year’s birthday is truly one to celebrate.

Black History Month Profile: Byllye Avery’s Contributions to Advancing Black Women’s Health

In celebrating Black History Month, we had the honor of interviewing Byllye Avery, a leader in advancing Black women’s health for over 40 years.  Her work began in 1974, when she co-founded the Women’s Health Center in Gainesville, Florida, and...

Work Requirements for Medicaid Would Deepen Disparities in North Carolina’s Infant and Maternal Health

The Trump Administration’s recent guidelines endorsing work requirements for Medicaid beneficiaries could entrench existing barriers to successful pregnancies.

Medicaid Work Requirements Will Undermine the Well-Being of Children and Their Families

By imposing work requirements, the Trump Administration is giving states a tool that could undermine the well-being of children and families.

“Public Charge” Would Create a Public Health Crisis for Immigrant Families

The most likely effect of the revised rule is that it will scare immigrants away from using benefits they are legally eligible to utilize, hurting children and families.

CHIP Is Finally Funded. What Now?

What did Congress leave on the table?

What’s the Hold Up? Congress Must Fully Fund CHIP Now

Despite urgent pleas from governors, providers and families, Congress has yet to deliver long-term funding for this vital program.

CDC Report Highlights Stark Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Infant Mortality

In the first week of the New Year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report on infant mortality, and the news is not good.

Senator-Elect Doug Jones Calls on Senate to Pass CHIP Funding

This blog originally appeared on the Georgetown Center for Children and Families' blog Say Ahhh!, you can view it here. Alabama voters are accustomed to the hot glare of national media attention, but not the warm glow. Doug Jones’ stunning...

Health Coverage is a Lifesaver for Families, Navigators Throw the Lifebuoy

With the federal open enrollment period coming to a close this Friday, December 15, we still don’t know what the next year (or even the next month) will bring for health care, even as we see each and every day what...

New Analysis Shows that Marketplace Plans Continue to Be Better Than Ever for Transgender People

As we near the end of this year’s open enrollment period (the final deadline is December 15th!), we’re happy to report that marketplace plans at HealthCare.gov continue to be better than ever for transgender people.

Trump Administration Threatens Reproductive Health, Personal Choice and Economic Security Through Birth Control Coverage Mandate Rollback

Two new accommodations threaten the health and financial security of the women, transgender people and nonbinary individuals.

The President’s Addiction Policies: Too Little Good, Too Much Bad and Ugly

The Trump administration has pledged to address addiction nationwide. Now they’re playing their hand and we’re not impressed.

CHIP: One Step Forward, Three Steps Back.

On Friday, CHIP refunding moved forward, ending Halloween week with a trick not a treat.

Goblins and Zombies Aren’t As Scary As Kids Losing Coverage

As we are passing out sweets to all the cute ghosts and dinosaurs, we should be concerned that families are wondering whether the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) will be available to their children in the coming months and years.

Stop Stigmatizing Mental Illness and Call Gun Violence What It Is: A Public Health Crisis

It happens every time news breaks of a mass shooting.

Moving Forward on CHIP: Congress Should Clear the Way for a Bipartisan Approach

Yesterday was a busy day for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

The Takeaway: Can You Do A Post Mortem On Something That Isn’t Dead?

Now that the clock has run out on the 2017 budget resolution, the Republican drive to repeal the Affordable Care Act and undermine the Medicaid program has hit a pause.

Graham-Cassidy is Worst ACA Repeal Bill for Women Yet

Senate Republicans are once more trying to ram through a bill that would be devastating for women, families and LGBTQ people.

Fighting the Latest Threat to Addiction Services and Supports: The Graham-Cassidy Repeal Bill

Here we are again. Another disastrous health care repeal bill is gaining momentum, threatening the progress we’ve made in treating substance use disorders.

Connecting Mouth to the Body: Integrating Oral Health into ACOs

Poor oral health can lead to other health problems, including cardiovascular disease, and some chronic health conditions, like diabetes, are associated with poor oral health.

Low Income Transit Riders in Rhode Island Find Their Voice

Earlier this year, RIPTA raised transit fares to 50 cents for a one-way ride plus 25 cents for a transfer. The fare increase was a disaster for low income elderly and disabled riders.

Handle with Care: Back to School Amidst Charlottesville

For many families across the country, August is the month of “back to school.” For us in the health advocacy world, it is commonly the month that we focus on health care program enrollment.

‘Just Say No’ To Sessions’ Attempt to Revamp the Failed War on Drugs

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is revamping policies to escalate the war on drugs, compromising recent progress made by advocates and policy makers to address addiction as a health issue instead of a moral failing or criminal matter.

What's Next? Advocates Now Turn to CHIP Refunding

The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) celebrated its 20th birthday. Enacted with bipartisan support, CHIP provides coverage to children and pregnant women whose families have incomes above Medicaid eligibility.

Preventable Diseases Show The Impact Of Racial Disparities

This blog is part of a series that will highlight how structural racism in the health care system negatively affects the health of individuals of color. Community Catalyst is committed to exposing and dismantling policies, practices and attitudes that routinely produce cumulative...

Structural Racism and Maternal and Child Health

Now is the time when we have to eliminate the racist narrative of the “welfare queen.”

The Better Care Reconciliation Act Disproportionately Harms People of Color

This blog is part of a series that will highlight how structural racism in the health care system negatively affects the health of individuals of color. Community Catalyst is committed to exposing and dismantling policies, practices and attitudes that routinely...

You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet: What’s Lurking Beyond the Horizon of the CBO Score

By now, you’ve already seen the key takeaways from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score of the Senate repeal bill. But what you might not know is that the CBO score hides the most devastating of the Senate bill’s effects.

The Takeaway: What's the Deal in the Senate?

Don't expect to see the bill in advance.

Protecting the Affordable Care Act this LGBTQ Pride Season

Another year means another LGBTQ Pride season, and another reason to celebrate significant gains in LGBTQ health thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

How Structural Racism Fuels the Response to the Opioid Crisis

Today’s overdose problem is not the first time our country has faced a devastating drug crisis.

When Health Policy Advocacy Doesn’t See Color, It Doesn’t See Me

his blog is part of a series that will highlight how structural racism in the health care system negatively affects the health of individuals of color.

Rolling Back Progress: Medicaid Cuts Would Deny Children of Color Access to Care

The AHCA, as passed by the House of Representatives and sent on to the Senate, would reverse the progress on children’s coverage that has been made through the ACA.

Trump Budget Attacks Low-Income Communities, State Budgets, Children

Despite his repeated promises on the campaign trail that he would not cut Medicaid, President Trump’s FY 2018 budget would slash the program’s budget nearly in half over the next decade. The budget assumes the $839 billion in Medicaid cuts...

A Step Backwards on Health Equity: Unpacking the Systemic Racism in the Final Rule on Market Stability

“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in healthcare is the most shocking and inhumane.” - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This is the first in a blog series highlighting the impact of structural racism in our health system. Despite...

The Takeaway: Why Trumpcare Collapsed and What Comes Next

After reflecting on last week’s collapse of the drive to repeal the Affordable Care Act, we can reach some good conclusions about what went down and draw some lessons for the future.

Savoring Victory, We Need to Continue to #ActOut to Protect LGBTQ Health

Last week's announcement that congress would not proceed with the GOP Repeal bill was a huge victory for LGBTQ individuals and their families, many of whom were at risk of losing health care coverage and critical consumer protections.

Moving Backward On Health Equity: Impacts Of The GOP Repeal Bill On Communities Of Color

Racial and ethnic health disparities persist in our nation and health care system. Compared to their white counterparts, people of color are more likely to be without health insurance. They often receive poor quality care and experience worse health outcomes....

Top 5 Reasons the House GOP Bill to Repeal the ACA is Bad for Children and Families

The GOP Health Care Repeal Bill will negatively impact millions, but low-income kids, working families and communities of color will be hit particularly hard.

Reflecting on Black History Month

As February comes to a close, we want to pause and recognize Black History Month.

Biting back – why it’s important to protect your oral health care

On January 30, 26-year-old Vadim Kondratyuk of California, a father to two small children, died from a dental infection that spread to his blood and his lungs. Tragically, Vadim is not alone. Each year, millions of people go without treatment...

States Face Immense Budget Impacts If the Affordable Care Act Is Repealed

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the uninsured rate in the United States declined to 8.6 percent in the first quarter of 2016, the lowest level on record.

What LGBT Seniors Stand to Lose in ACA Repeal

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) older adults face many of the same health and aging challenges other older adults face, but more pronounced.

Uncertainty Around ACA Stirs Fear In Immigrant Communities

Following the election of Donald Trump, immigrant communities have grown increasingly anxious about their safety and well-being.

2016 Election Fallout: The Looming Threat to People with Disabilities

This is the first blog in a series to highlight the dangers of the repealing the Affordable Care Act. Multiple times a week, Community Catalyst will highlight a different constituency to draw attention to the benefits the ACA has afforded them.

The Takeaway: How Do the Political Scientists Explain This One?

One curious feature of our current moment in health policy is how divergent the impending course of action pledged by Republicans in Congress and the incoming Trump administration is from the preferences of major health care industry stakeholders. Dominant models...

Health Equity: Community Catalyst’s Guiding Principles, Projects and People

This is the first in a series of blog posts that will share Community Catalyst’s vision for achieving health equity in the U.S. health care delivery system. Since the introduction of the Affordable Care Act, the uninsured rate has dropped...

We Saw Change in the Making in Atlanta

[Being at the convening] reinforced for me the difference we can collectively make as the health advocacy movement continues to diversify and include more voices and perspectives.

Identifying Racial Bias in Treatment for Substance Use Disorders

Implicit bias among health care providers is a key factor contributing to racial and ethnic health disparities.

Non-Emergency Medical Transportation: Pathway to Better Health Outcomes

Even with health care coverage, Medicaid beneficiaries still find themselves facing numerous barriers to accessing the care they need and achieving better health outcomes. One barrier that continues to cause serious access problems is transportation.

Louisiana Is a Health Care Innovator (Yes, Louisiana!)

Louisiana is the leading the way when it comes to being innovative to improve the lives of its citizens. Our new Governor John Bel Edwards boldly campaigned that he would expand Medicaid in a deeply red state.

What’s the Buzz on Closing the Coverage Gap to Fight Zika?

This month, the first wave of locally-transmitted Zika virus infections in the continental United States in Florida could signal the escalation of a public health crisis with lasting consequences.

A Deeper Look at the Critical Role of Community Health Centers in Advocacy

Community health centers have traditionally been the primary source of care for underserved populations with the greatest health needs.

Making Non-Discriminatory Benefit Design a Reality

The Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Essential Health Benefits (EHB) completely changed health coverage by requiring health plans on the individual and small-group market to cover the same ten benefits without discrimination. These 10 essential categories of benefits range from general—office...

The Takeaway: Guns, Race and Health

The United States has a gun problem, and the United States has a racial justice problem. When the two collide the results are too often tragic and horrible.

Seeing Providers as Partners to Tackle Discrimination and Implicit Bias in Health Care

In the aftermath of the unsettling tragedy that unfolded in Orlando last month, we are again reminded about the issue of discrimination and its relation to health care.

Momentum Is On Our Side: Vermont Votes Yes on Dental Therapists

On Monday, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed a new law that will allow dental therapists to work in Vermont. It’s an exciting victory on a number of levels. To start, this makes Vermont the fourth state to add dental therapists...

Florida Needs More Than Flowers

Last June, following the mass murder in Charleston, South Carolina, Anton Gunn, a South Carolinian and Community Catalyst board member, commented on Governor Nikki Haley’s (R-SC) change of heart about taking down the Confederate flag from the grounds of the South...

A Nurse in EVERY School

While school nurses have long been recognized for their vital role in supporting children’s educational success through better health, there is increasing recognition that school nurses are integral to reforming our health care delivery system. School nurses are the eyes...

Progress Despite Setbacks: Ensuring LGBTQ Health Equity Amidst Discriminatory State Policies

2016 legislative sessions around the country have introduced a slew of distressing and shameful new laws aimed at stripping equal rights from the LGBTQ community. Hundreds more of these discriminatory proposals are still pending in state legislatures all around the...

Health and Housing: The Benefits and Pitfalls of Partnerships

We know that as the energy in the health care world turns to reinventing health care delivery systems, social and economic determinants of health and the role they play in community health are front and center. Studies have uniformly shown...

Closing the Coverage Gap Helps Knock Down Stubborn Health Disparities

The fourth in our National Minority Health Month blog series. For National Minority Health month, we are celebrating the 32 states including the District of Columbia that have chosen to close the coverage gap. Not only have these states extended...

The Takeaway: One More Time with Feeling

One More Time with Feeling It’s pre-rating filing season again. That means it’s time for the annual ritual of insurers trying to soften up the public and regulators for rate increases. This year, HHS is pushing back on the insurers’...

At the Intersection of Income Inequality and Geography: A Case for a Broad Approach to Health

For several decades, data has shown a trend toward the concentration of poverty and increasing income inequality in major cities across America. Take New York City for example, a metropolitan area often cited to demonstrate some of the highest gaps...

A Treasure Trove of Data: The Starting Point for Addressing Health Disparities

The second in our National Minority Health Month blog series. In late March, the CMS Office of Minority Health released the Mapping Medicare Disparities (MMD) tool, an interactive map that displays differences in chronic disease prevalence and outcomes among Medicare...

Community Catalyst Looks Inward and Outward in Observance of Minority Health Month

April is National Minority Health Month, organized under the auspices of the Office of Minority Health within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This is the first in a four-week series of blogs related to issues of health equity.

My Day in Columbia, Missouri

It was a beautiful spring day to be in a conference room, but inside, people’s energy did not wane. I felt like I was in a room of scientists – listening to presentations, brainstorming ideas, evaluating new approaches – all...

Why Strengthening America’s Social Structures Is Essential for Health

This post in our Health System Transformation series is an update of the Jan. 26, 2016 blog post titled, “How America’s Social Structures Affect Our Health.”  This updated post adds some key policy prescriptions that are central to the vision...

U.S. Task Force Recognizes Critical Need to Address Maternal Depression

In late January, the United States Preventive Services Task Force released its final recommendation statement for adult depression screening.

Consumer Protections: More than Appeals and Grievances

This is the next post in an inaugural blog series outlining the policy priorities of the Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation, taking a dive into the areas that must be addressed to achieve better care, better value and better health.

Can I Get an Amen? Successful Collaborations between Hospitals and Faith/Community-Based Organizations

There is increasing acknowledgement nationwide that the social and economic conditions in which people live play an enormous role in health. Clinicians and hospitals cannot make their patients healthier by solely focusing on what happens inside the clinic walls. Rather,...

The Takeaway - Flint: How Did This Happen And What Does It Mean?

Flint: How Did This Happen And What Does It Mean? In my opinion, the biggest health care story of the week is the continued fallout from the lead contamination of the water supply in Flint, Michigan. The Flint crisis underscores...

New Report Highlights Progress, Room for Improvement in Health Coverage Gains for Hispanic Children

Last Friday, the Georgetown Center for Children and the National Council of La Raza co-released a report detailing recent gains in health coverage for Hispanic children. Among the key findings in the report is that the uninsured rate among Hispanic children dropped...

The Takeaway: Gun Violence is a Public Health Issue. Time for Congress to Treat it Like One

Gun violence in the US seems to have reached epidemic proportions averaging at least one mass shooting per day in 2015. According to OECD data 87 percent of the children in the developed world who die from gun violence live in the...

Helping Women Learn How to Navigate Health Insurance

Just in time for this open enrollment period, there’s a great new tool to help women get started using their health insurance.

Advancing Health Equity in a New Era of Health System Transformation

In a recent blog we shared reflections on our health equity journey and identified health system transformation (HST) as the next frontier of health care advocacy.

Reflections on Our Health Equity Journey

In late October the Community Catalyst Health Equity Executive Team members attended the PolicyLink Equity Summit in sunny downtown Los Angeles.

The Takeaway: More Signs of ACA Success but There's Still Work Left to Do

Michael Miller talks insurance merger mania, tackling out-of-pocket costs and more data touting the success of the ACA in this week’s edition of The Takeaway.

From charity to Philanthropy: Supporting Dental Therapy and Proven Models of Care

When I accepted the first CEO position at the REACH Healthcare Foundation more than 11 years ago, I was introduced to the important distinction between philanthropy and charity

Pacific Northwest Indian Tribe Exercises Sovereignty to Provide Desperately Needed Oral Health Care to its Community

There is an oral health crisis in Indian Country and as a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, I have seen it firsthand.

Medicaid Managed Care is Getting a Makeover

Community Catalyst recently submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services around proposed regulations that make sweeping updates to Medicaid Managed Care.

We can reduce health disparities and ensure that ALL children have health coverage

Ensuring that families of all ethnic backgrounds access the health care they need to be healthy is one of the most important things we can do for our nation’s children.

North Carolina’s Direct Care Workers in the Coverage Gap

A recent paper from the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute indicates that of North Carolinians who are affected by the Medicaid coverage gap nearly 10 percent are direct-care workers.

Celebrating the Golden Anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid – Looking Ahead to the Next 50 Years

Fifty years ago today, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the landmark amendments to the Social Security Act that created the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

The Takeaway: Michael Miller's Congressional Forecast, The Weather Looks Stormy

Michael Miller's The Takeaway, featured in On Message on July 24, 2015.

A Review of Georgia Nonprofit Hospital Community Health Needs Assessments

At Community Catalyst we are often asked for lessons or insights into the Community Health Needs Assessments that non-profit hospitals have been generating. We are in regular communication with several groups around the country who are monitoring CHNAs.

Reflecting on last week’s victories

The ACA and marriage equality decisions are the culmination of years of policy and legal strategies, organizing, and advocacy.

So Much PRIDE: Marriage Equality and the Affordable Care Act

We’re still celebrating the Supreme Court’s decisions regarding health care and marriage equality from last week. But, we’ve also now taken time to evaluate just what these decisions mean—together.

Yes, Remove the Flag. And Close the Coverage Gap to Really Address Racial Inequality

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has called for the removal of the Confederate flag from the State House. Yet, she remains adamantly opposed to accepting the federal dollars set aside to extend Medicaid coverage to low-income South Carolinians.

Measurement That Matters: A Starting Point to Get to “Better, Smarter, Healthier”

In January, we asked “How do we get to better, smarter, healthier?” One of the steps we identified was developing better people-centered health quality measures. The IOM recently released a report that has the potential to be a game changer.

The ACA Is About People, Not Politics

Over the past five years, we have watched the Affordable Care Act go from a hotly contested piece of legislation to a hotly contested law that, despite non-stop efforts to undermine it, has given millions of American’s access to health care.

Two-to-One Odds against Consumers with Behavioral Illnesses

For millions of people who need treatment for drug and alcohol problems or mental illness, inequity is a reality.

Tackling Health Disparities in the Aging Population

With April being National Minority Health Month, the time is now to stand against the barriers that create the social, health and economic disparities experienced by older adults – a population that is becoming more and more diverse.

Commission on Dental Accreditation Supports National Training Standards for Dental Therapy Programs

On February 6 in a conference room at the American Dental Association’s headquarters in Chicago, the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) voted overwhelmingly to adopt national training standards for dental therapy education programs.

Health Equity In Focus: Outreach and Education Come First in Bhutanese Refugee Community

Nearly a year ago, a new partnership was formed to promote outreach and enrollment opportunities for the Bhutanese community in Georgia.

How do we get to Better Smarter Healthier? Five Key Steps

From our perspective, the recipe for "better, smarter, healthier" must include these five ingredients.

Cross-Post: Will dental therapists “change the world” (of U.S. dental care) in 2015?

Change is hard. Change takes time. Change is worth fighting for especially when it relates to improving access to oral health care.

'Tis the Season for Network Adequacy

Need an escape from crowded malls, holiday meal planning and travel plans? We’ve got the solution: escape to a quiet corner of your home with steaming cup of hot coco, a warm blanket and hundreds of pages of proposed federal regulations....

Boosting Latino Coverage: Strategies for Open Enrollment 2.0

With open enrollment in full swing, consumer health advocates are ramping up their outreach to diverse populations that continue to have disproportionately high rates of uninsurance.  Latinos in particular are more likely to be uninsured, with one in three Latinos...

Celebrating Successes: Protecting Access to affordable and quality coverage and care for people living with HIV

Dedicated advocacy has led to important successes in protecting health insurance coverage and health care access for people living with HIV. Below are three recent successes, both advocates working at the state and federal levels.

Advocacy Strategies to Address Discrimination in Health Plans Part 2: New Discrimination and Barriers to Care for People Living with HIV/AIDS

This guest blog post is the second blog in a series on discrimination in health plans. In this blog we highlight how discrimination in health plans affects people living with HIV/AIDS and policy recommendations to address the issue. While the...

Addressing Health Equity in the Dual Eligible Demonstration Projects

 “The healthcare world is changing; providers who have been serving a certain population are now serving a completely new population, a more diverse population. When you talk about cultural competency, what you really need to look at is what the...

Celebrating Milestones and Acknowledging Challenges Ahead for Latino Health Coverage

Since today is the last day of National Hispanic Heritage Month, we are celebrating the gains in health care coverage for Latinos since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) went into effect.

Making it Matter: Supporting LGBT Seniors through Health Care Reform Initiatives

As Community Catalyst’s Health Equity summer intern, I got to spend some time chatting with Linda Ellis of Georgia’s The Health Initiative about why closing the coverage gap in Georgia, and other states that have yet to expand Medicaid is...

What does the Coverage Gap have to do with kids? A whole lot, it turns out.

Last week, Virginia’s General Assembly once again took up the issue of closing the coverage gap, and once again struck the measure down. The primary goal of last week’s special session was to discuss the closure of this gap: Governor...

Health Care and Voter Registration: Complementary Opportunities for Community Health Centers

With the November elections looming, many organizations that we wouldn’t normally think of as hubs for engaging voters are playing an important role in ensuring eligible citizens are able to register. Community health centers, trusted spaces for obtaining health care,...

Non-profit Hospital CHNAs: What’s Health Equity Got to Do with It?

Many times the social and economic determinants of health are proxies for health inequalities within a community. Read how the ACA now requires that non-profit hospitals assess and attempt to address the unmet needs of the communities they serve.

New York Blazes the Trail for Paid Sick Time

Workers in New York City now have a legal right to paid sick leave thanks to an incredibly successful campaign led by the Community Service Society of New York, a Roadmaps to Health Community Grants grantee, along with their key partner Make the Road-NY.

Medicaid and CHIP: Proven Tools to Reduce Health Disparities

Today is CHIP’s 17th birthday! As we reflect on the success of this important program, a recent report nicely summarizes its impact.

"Good Luck With That!"

In June, I had the great honor of presenting on a panel at the Practice Change Leaders for Aging and Health (PCL) meeting in Chicago. For the uninitiated, the PCL is a gem of a program through which ten leaders...

Cross Post: Massachusetts Announces Improvements To Transgender Health Care Coverage

Officials from the administration of Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) announced new policies Friday that will improve access to health care for transgender residents of the commonwealth.

Boston Approves Comprehensive Health Benefits for Transgender People

Yesterday, the Boston City Council unanimously passed a new ordinance that would ensure that the City only contracts with health insurance providers that offer comprehensive benefits for transgender people.

Recognizing National Foster Care Month

May is National Foster Care Month, and it is a great time to reflect on the unique health needs of youth who are or have been in foster care and how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) helps to support these...

Health Equity in Focus: Taking a Closer Look—Successful enrollment strategies in New Jersey

In New Jersey, the final enrollment numbers attest to the coordinated efforts enrollment specialists and consumer health advocates activated across the Garden State. With more than 162,000 New Jerseyans enrolled in the Marketplace in this first open enrollment period, and...

Elevating LGBT Health Equity

It is with great pride that we’re posting this blog today! Last night, Community Catalyst was honored at Mass Equality’s annual Icon Awards, recognizing our role as an ally organization in improving access to health coverage for LGBT individuals and...

Health Equity in Focus: Overcoming Enrollment Challenges: Tips for Connecting with Communities of Color

Last year we brought you the Ten Tips for Engaging Communities of Color in Policy Change after meeting with advocates. This year advocates from around the country shared their successes and challenges as they moved through the enrollment period. As...

Health Equity in Focus: The Numbers Don’t Lie: Advancing Health Equity in Oregon through Better Data Collection

The consequences of not having accurate data can lead to culturally inappropriate interventions, and, as a result, poor health outcomes.  – Dr. Connie Nguyen-Truong, Ph.D., RN, PCCN, Oregon As a nurse and scientist, Dr. Nguyen-Truong seeks to understand both the...

More Work to Be Done: Culturally Competent LGBT Enrollment Practices

January’s enrollment updates tell us that the total number of those enrolled in Marketplace health insurance coverage hovers above two million. Another 3.9 million individuals have been determined eligible for state Medicaid and CHIP programs. And we know that more...

Health Equity In Focus: Building Diverse Coalitions for Policy Change: Lessons from Oral Health Campaigns

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Ensure Pharmacists and Drug Makers Provide Language-Appropriate Care for Health Care Consumers

Late last year, the Senate Special Committee on Aging heard some very important testimony about how the drug industry needs to be better regulated in order to protect seniors and other consumers from medication labeling mistakes. But the testimony quickly...

The Heart of the Demonstrations

At the end of the summer, I had the chance to present at two town hall meetings in Washington State that were hosted by the Alzheimer’s Association of Western and Central Washington, a Voices for Better Health state partner.

Banning the Box in Minnesota – and Across the United States!

Employment and income are among the social and economic factors that impact individual and community health. Studies have linked unemployment to shortened lifespans, increased mental health problems, and other health issues. But we don’t need studies to tell us what...

States to Decide Medicaid Eligibility for Same-Sex Couples

The Supreme Court’s decision on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was met with much elation by advocates pursuing marriage equality. The federal government has been working, since that momentous decision was released, to clarify just how it impacts various...

50-state Report: Kids Coverage Improving Thanks to Medicaid and CHIP

Our friends at Georgetown Center for Children and Families today released their 50-state report on children’s health coverage, which provides a detailed picture of the coverage landscape for kids. Overall, the news is positive: 92.8 percent of kids have insurance...

Health Equity in Focus: Equality in Coverage: Getting 293,932 LGBT Georgians Health Care

To celebrate National Coming Out Day we wanted to showcase the partnership Georgians for a Healthy Future and Georgia Equality have formed over the past year to advance access to health care for the state’s nearly 300,000 LGBT citizens.

Building Community Voice and Power, One Hospital at a Time: IRS Proposed Rules Encourage Hospitals to Address Disparities in Health and Financial Barriers to Care

Last week before celebrating another fireworks-filled Fourth of July here in Boston, we pressed “send” on comments addressing proposed rules on how non-profit hospitals engage community and public health partners in their community benefit planning.

DOMA Ruling: Better Health Care Access for LGBT Families

If you walked around our office last Thursday morning, you would have found nearly everyone’s eyes glued to SCOTUSBlog, awaiting the Supreme Court’s decision on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the Proposition 8 case from California.

Health Equity in Focus: Can I get an Amen? Successful strategies for organizing faith leaders

This is a guest post by Suzanne Schlattman, Deputy Director for Development and Community Outreach for the Maryland Citizens Health Initiative. Faith leaders are often on the front lines serving families in crisis, whether at the side of the hospital bed,

Health Equity in Focus: It’s a New Day for Health Care in New Mexico!

This is a guest post by Joe Martinez, Consumer Outreach Coordinator for Health Action New Mexico. Be sure to check out HANM’s blog for more coverage of their work.

New Polling Shows Strong Support for Expanding Medicaid in the Deep South

This week advocates in the South received yet another good reason to push for expanding Medicaid in their states.

From the Feds Down to the States: Using Navigators to Promote Health Equity

HHS recently released the cooperative agreement funding opportunity for organizations interested in serving as Navigators in states with a Partnership or Federally Facilitated Exchange.

Providing People of Color the Assistance They Need to Enroll

By January 1, 2014, 13 million people of color, including many immigrants, will be able to get health coverage through the new Insurance Exchanges, or Marketplaces. But it is still “insanely confusing” to navigate the complex health insurance system.

Health Equity in Focus: Ten Tips for Engaging Communities of Color in Policy Change: Lessons from a Health Equity Roundtable

A few years ago, a handful of advocates might have gathered together to discuss the issue of health equity and best practices for engaging communities of color in policy campaigns. A few weeks ago at the Health Action conference hosted by Families USA, we

Delivery System Reform: A Vehicle to Improve Health Equity

Provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) address a challenge many across the nation are trying to tackle – advancing health equity by improving the health status of and quality of care for racial and ethnic minorities. A recent report issued by the Nat

Moving Latinas Health Forward: Celebrating the Latina Week of Action

It couldn’t be a more perfect week to celebrate the third annual Latina Week of Action. Eight days ago, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) began to level the playing field when it comes to gender inequity in health care by expanding women’s access to preventiv

This Pride Month, LGBT health advocates are celebrating the ACA

This post is a guest blog from our partners at Raising Women's Voices for the Health Care We Need. “The Affordable Care Act may represent the strongest foundation we have ever created to begin closing LGBT health disparities.” That’s how U.S. Secretary of

Sanders and Cummings Make the Case for a Comprehensive U.S. Dental System

Yesterday, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) announced they are filing legislation to address a national crisis in dental care. The legislation would expand comprehensive dental coverage to millions of Americans through M

The Prevention Fund is Under Attack -- Again!

Would you rather be healthy or have affordable education? That’s the false choice House Republicans are trying to force us to consider by pitting higher education against health. Last Friday House Republicans joined others in supporting the Interest Rate

Health Equity Can't Wait: Guest Blog: Why Are Women of Color Still Dying in Childbirth?

Community Catalyst is proudly taking part in the Health Equity Can’t Wait! blog carnival celebrating National Minority Health Month. Participating bloggers are health, consumer, civil rights, and provider advocates committed to promoting health equity. Yo

Working Toward Health Equity Together

Community Catalyst is proudly taking part in the Health Equity Can’t Wait! blog carnival celebrating National Minority Health Month. Participating bloggers are health, consumer, civil rights, and provider advocates committed to promoting health equity. Yo

Health equity in the Exchanges: Some good first steps

Last Monday, the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued the final rules for the establishment of state Exchanges, a competitive marketplace for individuals and small businesses to purchase insurance. In addition to providing guidance t

Federal money well spent: grants to save money by promoting community health

All across the country, health officials are boasting about new federal grants, awarded yesterday, that will help them save money by improving the health of Americans. More than $100 million in Community Transformation Grants went to projects in 36 state

Following the Leaders: How Some Hospitals Use Community Benefit Programs to Address Health Equity

We’ve used this space to talk at some length about the shortcomings that follow from our “patchwork quilt” of state and federal standards for community benefit. Today, we’re taking a detour to talk about what’s right with community benefit—specifically, s

New National Legislation to Advance Health Equity

A bill filed in Congress yesterday provides hundreds of tools to address the disgraceful health disparities that plague our communities and deprive so many people of color of long, healthy lives. The Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2011 (HEAA) was

Help Shape Health Equity Work

Consumer advocates have a new opportunity to influence regional work to strengthen health equity. This is your chance to make a difference! The Office of Minority Health in the federal Department of Health and Human Services is seeking nominations for 10

Cross-Post: A Disappointing Rollback of Consumer Protections on Appeals

June 23, 2011 The Affordable Care Act (ACA) established many consumer protections, but it was only the first step.  As decisions are made about implementation and regulations, the need for consumer engagement is critical. As an example of where protection

Protecting Prevention Funding Is Key to Controlling Health Costs

As House Republicans hammered away this week at federal spending, they took another whack at the Prevention and Public Health Fund. But if their goal is really saving money, they just hit their thumb instead of the proverbial nail. The Affordable Care Act

Toward Better Health for People of Color

Focusing unprecedented federal attention on the barriers to good health for people of color, the US Department of Health and Human Services unveiled a two-part plan today of federal and community strategies designed to move the nation toward health equity

The grants are coming! The grants are coming!

Word came last week from the Obama administration that the Community Transformation Grant program will begin “very soon,” despite the discussion of federal budget freezes. Speaking at the Families USA Health Action conference, an official said the adminis

Prevention Fund Saved!

Through the collective efforts of advocates of many different stripes across the country, we staved off an attempt yesterday to gut the new Prevention and Public Health Fund, a critical part of national health reform. An amendment from U.S. Senator Mike J

Senate proposal would gut funding to make Americans healthier and reduce health disparities

Update: Due to response to this blog post, we would like to share additional information with those who are interested in signing-on to the letter. If you would like to sign-on, please contact Trust for America’s Health by e-mailing rhamburg@TFAH.org. A s

"Show me" gender equity!

Missouri is trying to remain true to its slogan, the "Show Me State," by helping lead the charge in anti-health reform legislation prohibiting abortion services for health insurance obtained through the exchange – (the term used for the health care insura

The Insider: All this could be yours someday

Fuzzy logic As the “tax extenders” bill makes its way through the Senate, a provision to extend COBRA premium subsidies for the unemployed is in jeopardy. Opponents in the Senate and the Blue Dogs in the House who stripped the provision from legislation t

Dental care for every community

Last week, the New York Times reported on the dire need to improve health care on Native American Tribal Lands. Unfortunately, one of the major components of overall health and the health care system was overlooked as part of the article – oral health and

Immigration, Choice, and the Cost Containment Condundrum

Throughout the reform debate, a constellation of key issues—financing, affordability and the inclusion and design of a public insurance option—have been key focal points of discussion.  Now, as reform inches closer to the finish line, another set of issue

Disparities in dollars: two new studies make the cost case for fixing them

Minorities and immigrants in America are disproportionately hurt by a lack of health insurance, poor access to care, low quality treatment and gaps in service. This results in deadly symptoms. For example, 14 of every 1,000 African American babies in the
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