Health News Roundup

Week of February 12, 2018

health equity

The Health of Dreamers
Vanessa Lopez and Tim K. Mackey, Health Affairs Blog, February 14 

Dreamers, the young adults who were brought to this country illegally by their parents and who have received protection from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, have been at the center of a contentious fight over the federal budget, immigration reform, and border security. Yet lost in this politically charged conflict is an assessment of how a decision on DACA could impact the health of vulnerable young undocumented immigrants and their families—or how well the health of Dreamers was protected in the first place.

access to care

Upsurge of suburban poor discover health care’s nowhere land
Elaine Korry, Kaiser Health News, February 9

The Affordable Care Act cut California’s uninsured rate from 17 percent in 2013 to about 7 percent last year due largely to the Medicaid expansion, which added more than 3.7 million adults to the state’s Medi-Cal rolls. But that has not ensured access to health care for millions of suburbanites, said Alina Schnake-Mahl, a doctoral candidate at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, who was lead author of the Health Affairs study. “That really goes against the idea that everyone in the suburbs is insured because everyone has a white-collar job with coverage,” she said. Health care services in the suburbs “are not robust enough to fill the needs” of a growing low-income population, one expert said.

School-based health center works to keep kids in class, out of emergency rooms
Talia Richman, The Baltimore Sun, February 9 
In Baltimore, the Rales Center essentially operates as a pediatrician’s office, albeit one located across the hall from the cafeteria in the sprawling school building. The staff provides vision exams, asthma screenings, vaccinations and other primary care services. The center’s goal is to keep kids in classrooms and out of emergency rooms by promoting healthy living and preventative care for chronic illnesses such as asthma. School health officials say it’s important that they treat students at school and help eliminate some of the barriers that hinder low-income families from accessing quality healthcare.

recommended blog

The Health Divide: A new blog on forces shaping our health
Center for Health Journalism, University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism
The Health Divide is a new blog from the Center for Health Journalism. It’s dedicated to exploring “the ways in which health is shaped by factors outside the doctor’s office” — including where people live and work, race, class, and immigration status. Center Director Michelle Levander explains the idea behind this undertaking. In this post, journalist Suzanne Bohan looks at the role that having access to credit or savings plays in health.