Health News Roundup

Week of December 18, 2017

health equity

A last push for Obamacare Sign-ups — and worries about who got hurt
Kate Zernike, Robert Pear, The New York Times, December 15
With the Affordable Care Act’s enrollment period shortened and outreach resources cut this year, people have been working urgently to preserve one of the major achievements of the health law — the remarkable decline it brought in the proportion of blacks and Hispanics without health insurance.

Federal health reform

Children’s Health Insurance Program receives only patchwork funding
The Associated Press, December 22
Lawmakers approved a short-term patch Thursday designed to keep state programs operating through March, though some said federal officials think the money would run out by early February. With no long-term funding agreement imminent, growing numbers of states have begun edging toward depleting their federal funds and commencing steps to cope with that.

Tax bill eliminates health insurance mandate, but CT may impose its own
Ana Radelat, The Connecticut Mirror, December 18
With the passage of a tax overhaul that will gut the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that most Americans have health insurance, a number of states, including Connecticut, may consider a state-based penalty to encourage people to obtain coverage. Nearly 60,000 individuals and families in Connecticut paid a federal tax penalty last year because they did not have health insurance coverage in 2015, a penalty imposed by the ACA’s “individual mandate.”

first person

Our segregated lives: Connecticut’s racial, economic inequality
Michael Kraus, Hartford Courant, December 5
For me, a relative newcomer to Connecticut, the patterns of racial and socioeconomic segregation here and throughout the state are striking. Yet, for friends and coworkers who have been here for a while, the racial economic inequality that is so clearly part and parcel of New Haven no longer seems noteworthy. Instead, it is largely viewed as another, albeit regrettable, feature of our town that can fade into the background as people negotiate their daily lives.