Join Our Network

Follow Us:

  • RSS

Medicaid

Blog Posts tagged "Medicaid"

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 and chronic adverse outcomes for people of color in the health system.

The Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) would result in 22 million people losing their health care coverage over the next decade, cause long-term damage to the Medicaid program and raise health care costs to extremely unaffordable levels for consumers. Millions of low-income people of color, especially those with chronic health conditions, would be among the hardest hit. A recent analysis conducted by the Urban Institute estimates that by 2022 roughly 21 percent of those who would become uninsured because of BCRA are Latinos, and 12 percent are Black. This bill would reverse racial health equity gains made under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and strike a blow against signature victories for racial equality in America.

Californians have a number of reasons to celebrate these days, particularly the victory of Health4All Kids. But even with this accomplishment, there is still work to be done to make sure that Health4All becomes a reality.

In the 1960’s, President Lyndon Johnson kicked off the original Health For All efforts with the War on Poverty. It gave us Medicare, Medicaid, and helped us establish a nation-wide network of community clinics and health centers, whose mission was to provide care to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay.   

Despite the odds, obstacles and budget cuts, these determined non-profit health centers endured, and in fact, they grew. Passionately dedicated to their mission, they built a system of health care one patient and one community at a time.  

Today, community clinics and health centers, referred to as CaliforniaHealth+, operate more than 1,100 health centers and serve more than 5.6 million patients each year - that’s 1 in 7 Californians! They live at the heart of our communities and provide care in a way that respects the culture, tradition, and values of those they serve.

Today we celebrate the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson’s signing of the Social Security Amendments of 1965, an act that created both the Medicare and Medicaid programs. With one stroke of his pen, President Johnson put in place an unprecedented commitment to health that has impacted the lives of hundreds of millions of Americans. 

The Medicaid program – Medi-Cal here in California – began as a federal-state partnership to cover medical expenses for families receiving public assistance. After it was separated from welfare in the 1990s, Medicaid has continued to grow and now covers more than 80 million people, including roughly one-third of American children. In California, following the successful implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s expansions, Medi-Cal now covers over 12 million low-income individuals, including nearly half of all children in the state. The program serves to address key inequities in the health care system, in particular the coverage gaps faced by communities of color. While we’re still waiting on a reliable breakdown of Medi-Cal enrollees by race and ethnicity after the expansion, communities of color likely represent a large majority of recipients. (In 2013, communities of color made up over 80% of the Medi-Cal population and nearly half spoke a language other than English.)