Racial and ethnic minority groups in the United States continue to experience major differences in health status, treatment, and outcomes when compared to whites. The forces that contribute to health disparities are complex, ranging from broader societal issues such as poverty, racism, and hazardous environments, to health system factors such as lack of health care coverage, lack of workforce diversity, and a weakening safety net. Oftentimes, when vital health policies and programs are being debated, the voices of communities of color are left out.
The National Health Policy Training Alliance for Communities of Color was created to make clear the link between efforts to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities and the role of health policymaking, as well as to ensure that community leaders have the tools, information, and resources they need to address these issues. This initiative is a unique partnership between ACCESS Community Health & Research Center, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF), Families USA, the Joint Center Health Policy Institute (HPI), the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund, and the National Medical Association (NMA). It is generously funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
The overarching mission of the Alliance is to empower community leaders, elected officials, and journalists from communities of color with pertinent information about health policy developments in order to:
expand their capacity to address and catalyze action on crucial health and health care issues;
bolster the skills of leaders from communities of color to play a more influential role in shaping and creating health policies that are of relevance to their respective communities; and
engage diverse leaders in national health policy development.
From the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, and the UC Berkeley Labor Center:
Achieving Equity by Building a Bridge from Eligible to Enrolled explains the importance of doing culturally and linguistically appropriate outreach and education to facilitate enrollment in health coverage. Without effective multilingual efforts in California, language barriers may mean that 110,000 fewer people with limited English proficiency enroll in coverage through the state’s exchange. (February 2012)
From the Center for Health Care Strategies, the National Academy for State Health Policy, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation:
Implications of Health Reform for American Indian and Alaska Native Populations outlines provisions of the Affordable Care Act that uniquely affect these populations, including expanded coverage through Medicaid and the exchanges, outreach to tribal groups, and improved organization and financing of care. (February 2012)
From Families USA:
Implementing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: A 2012 State To-Do List for Exchanges, Private Coverage, and Medicaid gives state advocates an in-depth blueprint for action in 2012, outlining issues to start thinking about and tasks that deserve immediate attention. (February 2012)
Medicaid: Essential to America’s Hospitals and Communities provides state-level data highlighting how important hospitals are to state residents at every stage of life, whether or not they are covered by Medicaid. It also explains that hospitals are vital economic engines and that federal Medicaid cuts could harm many communities. (February 2012)
The Medicare Drug Benefit: How Much Will You Pay? includes tables that detail the basic Part D benefit and the benefit for low-income people who are and aren’t enrolled in Medicaid. (Updated February 2012)
Welcome to the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit for 2012 is an updated illustration that reflects improvements made by the Affordable Care Act that will lessen the amount enrollees will pay when they fall into the “doughnut hole.” (Updated February 2012)
From the Kaiser Family Foundation and the California Endowment:
Health Reform Hits Main Street: Spanish Version is a translation of the popular animation that explains the major provisions of the Affordable Care Act. It is designed to inform and educate the millions of Spanish speakers who will be affected by the health care law. (January 2012)
From the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies:
Place Matters for Health in the San Joaquin Valley provides a comprehensive analysis of how neighborhood differences in a range of social, economic, and environmental conditions are linked to health outcomes in the San Joaquin Valley, California. (February 2012)