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Martin Luther King Wouldn’t Be Very Happy With This Medicaid Map

TCF fellow Harold Pollack describes how Martin Luther King Jr. was a staunch defender of not only race equality, but also of justice in the health care system. He uses an infographic map to exhibit what Medicaid recipients look like on a US scale:

Read Pollack's full article featured in Huffington Post.

Tags: medicaid, health insurance, health care reform

What Happens When Your Pregnant Sister-in-Law is Paralyzed in an Accident — and Has No Insurance.

TCF fellow Harold Pollack conducts an interview with a woman whose sister-in-law suffered a severely traumatic accident leaving her mostly paralyzed. Pollack asks about her sister-in-law's difficulties dealing with the accident, treatment, and long-term care without having health insurance to support her necessary medical costs.

"They knew that my brother would continue to lack coverage, under any circumstance really. She knew that after the AIM ran out, she could enroll in [her nursing school’s student health plan]. She had already filled out the paperwork when the accident happened. She and the baby would both have insurance."

Read the full interview from the New York Times.

Tags: medical care, health insurance, affordable care act

Atul Gawande Explains Why the Health Care System Should Stop Trying to Help Everyone Live Longer

The U.S. health care system “prizes the length of a patient’s life over the quality of that life in a person’s final years,” writes TCF fellow Harold Pollack at the Washington Post’s Wonkblog. Pollack interviews author Atul Gawande, whose new book argues that those priorities are wrong. Says Gawande:

If you look at the studies, they find that having a palliative care doctor or geriatrician more closely involved in care can lead people to forego aggressive therapy sooner and have better outcomes--not only less suffering but even improved survival. But we don’t have enough of these doctors to go around.

Read the full interview at WonkBlog.

Tags: wonkblog, palliative care, health policy, health care policy, end of life care, atul gawande, affordable care act

Centers for Damage Control

Andrew Sullivan’s The Dish quotes TCF fellow Harold Pollack’s defense of the CDC.

Despite the CDC’s budget problems and its recent stumbles, it is a more effective, better-led organization than it was during the Bush years, when five out of six former agency directors publicly criticized the CDC’s managerial hijinks, low morale and lapses from scientific integrity. At that time, the CDC ranked 189th out of 222 federal agencies in workforce morale. It now ranks 49th out of 300 federal agencies on such measures. That’s a striking improvement.

Read the full article.

Tags: the dish, ebola, cdc, andrew sullivan

Yes, Ebola Is Scary. But the System Is Working.

TCF fellow Harold Pollack writes in Politico that while Ebola is a disaster in Africa, but a pretty containable threat here in the United States that "requires a calm, methodical response."

The words “calm and methodical” don’t quite match what we’re seeing. If you’re just tuning in, you might believe that America has lost its mind. Consider:

Cable TV and social media repeatedly fuel collective stupidity and fear.

Read the full article at Politico.

Home Care in Crisis

TCF fellow, Moshe Marvit has been quoted in an article about home care on In These Times.

In most industries, it’s not catastrophic when an employee doesn’t show up to work. But last December, a few weeks before Christmas, my mother’s long-time home health aide announced that she had to go on indefinite leave, which left my family reeling. That’s becoming an all-too-common story thanks to a growing shortage of home care workers, a problem that raises thorny issues of who’s able to unionize and which jobs—and which workers—we value.

I was 7 when my mother, a high school English teacher in upstate New York, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). Over the next several decades, MS progressively robbed her of many of the things she loved. First her stamina and ability to tolerate hot summers; later her balance and her pride, as strangers assumed her staggering walk meant she was drunk. When I was in middle school, MS forced my mom out of her teaching career, and by the time I graduated from college, it had relegated her to a wheelchair.

Read the full article.

Tags: home care workers, healthcare system, healthcare policy, healthcare


Social Insurance

Social Insurance

Compared to other advanced nations, America’s retirement security and health care systems offer weaker protections against risks we all face. The Century Foundation’s work focuses on ideas for strengthening Social Security, pensions, and health care – including steps for building on the Affordable Care Act.

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