Health News Roundup

Health coverage for older immigrants gains momentum, and more in this week’s roundup

How a doctor breaks norms to treat refugees and recent immigrants 
Markian Hawryluk, Kaiser Health News, July 27
Mango House, a clinic outside Denver, caters primarily to refugees and turns no one away. The clinic, which survives on Medicaid payments, is part of a broader refugee ecosystem that Dr. P.J. Parmar has built. Mango House provides food and clothing assistance, after-school programs, English classes, legal help — and Parmar even leads a Boy Scout troop there. He leases space to stores and restaurants owned and run by refugees. Mango House hosts religious groups, community meetings, weddings and other celebrations.

Health care for older immigrants sees momentum among states
Sophia Tareen, Associated Press, July 24
A handful of states are extending health insurance to adult immigrants in the country illegally, including seniors. Illinois became the first to offer a Medicaid-like program for older immigrants last year. California followed suit, including coverage for those 50 and over in the budget. Oregon’s governor signed a plan offering benefits to low-income immigrants over 19. New York advocates are banking on the momentum to do the same.

Latino children in the U.S. twice as likely to be uninsured as non-Latino children
Marina E. Franco, Axios, July 24 
Latino children in the U.S. are twice as likely to be uninsured as non-Latino children, according to an analysis by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families. Overall, Latinos of all ages in the U.S. are about three times as likely to be uninsured as non-Hispanic white Americans.

Unvaccinated Is different from anti-vax
Ed Yong, The Atlantic, July 22
In this interview, Dr. Rhea Boyd, a pediatrician and public health advocate who has been talking to underserved communities about COVID-19 vaccines since November, emphasizes the importance of not treating the unvaccinated as a single group. Those who are not yet vaccinated are disparate in almost every way that matters, including why they haven’t been vaccinated and what it might take to persuade them.

In same hospitals, Black patients receive fewer opioids than white patients
Claudia López Lloreda, STAT, July 21
A new study finds that common opioids such as codeine and morphine are more often prescribed to white patients than to Black patients treated within the same health system. White patients received both more pills and stronger doses, according to the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine. In about 90% of the 310 health systems studied, the opioid dose prescribed to white patients was higher than the one prescribed to Black patients.