HJ News and Resource Roundup 2/14/14

Welcome back to the news and resource roundup and happy Valentine’s Day! This week, we’re looking at disparate health impacts on communities of color, continuing our ongoing ACA roll-out coverage, and covering some innovative new programs in health care delivery.

Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities:

The Navajo nation is considering implementing a junk food sales tax in an effort to curb obesity and related health problems from which many people in indigenous communities suffer. Some worry, however, that the move will not improve overall health, but will simply make the limited foods to which low-income tribal members have access even less affordable.

Meanwhile, merely providing access to fresh foods is not sufficient to increase fresh food consumption in food deserts, which are often located in low-income communities of color. It’s also important to consider the role gentrification plays in fresh food accessibility.

An experimental new treatment suggests hope for asthma sufferers. Yet the treatment is costly, and most insurance plans don’t cover it. It is unclear, then, what hope remains for the many children of color who are diagnosed with asthma at disproportionately high rates.

Obamacare:

The employer mandate has been delayed for some companies.

Gaps in coverage remain for those who earn too little to qualify for subsidies but who also are not eligible for existing Medicaid programs.

The Huffington Post is featuring a series about working Americans who struggle to make ends meet. In this piece, Janice talks about her ability to access health care and special treatments for her autistic son.

Women may stand to benefit from the ACA more than men.

Obamacare seems to be succeeding with immigrants in the Bay area, yet also struggling to enroll Latinos in states across the nation.

Check out this toolkit of ACA resources for former foster care youth. In New York City, low-income children, immigrant children, and children of color are overrepresented in the foster care system.

Mental Health:

One advocate writes about the need for transformational change in mental health care and advocacy.

Students with disabilities, including those with severe emotional or behavioral issues, often face seclusion and restraint in educational settings.

The Atlantic explores an experimental program offering long-term mental health care for high-security prisoners.

Sexual, Reproductive, and Maternal Health:

Another program is offering prenatal yoga in New York prisons, where the women who are incarcerated are disproportionately young, poor, and of color, placing them at increased risk for maternal complications and mortality.

Pregnancy discrimination at work is a serious issue–one that disproportionately impacts low-wage and of color workers.

The HPV vaccine can also help prevent genital warts. Yet some parents still refuse to give their children this important medical intervention.

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