A Healthy Blog

Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

Immigrant Health

The Importance of the Census During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Encouraging 327.2 million people to carry out even a single task is a seemingly impossible goal––despite being required by law, the challenge of ensuring that everyone in the United States completes the Census every ten years is made difficult by much more than the sheer number of people it must reach. Even with the best of intentions, Americans can be forgetful, busy, and stressed over other parts of their life that demand precedence. There are also those who are less willing, with many undocumented immigrants afraid to provide an official entity with their information out of concern for... Read more »

Coronavirus is among us and we all have a responsibility to do our part to stop it or at least to slow it down

We are faced with a once in a century public health crisis that has bought society to a halt, that threatens to overwhelm health systems and that may yet bring economies to their knees. Over the last few weeks, the unthinkable - that a virus affecting one city in one country would have a similar impact everywhere else in the world -- became thinkable and now inevitable.  Read more »

DEMOCRACY SCHOOL 2019: BUILDING HEALTH CARE POWER IN IMMIGRANT COMMUNITIES

Last Saturday, Health Care For All (HCFA), in partnership with the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA), the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (MLRI) and Health Law Advocates (HLA), implemented a training under the title “Democracy School 2019: Building Health Care Power in Immigrant Communities”. Even though it was a beautiful day in Boston, 35 people - including advocates, community leaders and members, immigration and medical providers - chose to spend their Saturday attending the session and learning more about the struggles our immigrant communities face to live... Read more »

Immigrants At Higher Risk Of Being Disconnected To Coverage And Care

The immigrant community has always been at the core of much of the work that Health Care For All (HCFA) does. HCFA’s HelpLine handles over 20,000 calls each year, and 50% percent of these calls come from individuals who do not speak English as a first language. Many of our callers are immigrants. Over the years, we have implemented outreach and educational activities in areas of Massachusetts with a higher concentration of foreign-born populations, such as Framingham, Chelsea, Lowell, Waltham, and Somerville. Even though health disparities persist, we have made great strides in connecting... Read more »

Equal Coverage for All Kids is Essential to Public Health in the Commonwealth

Well-baby and well-child visits, vaccines, eyeglasses, and dental services are the building blocks of a healthy childhood and provide an essential foundation for wellness throughout the life-span. Data shows that comprehensive Medicaid coverage facilitates access to this care in childhood, and although children’s health insurance coverage in Massachusetts is strong, gaps still exist. While we can be proud that 98% of the Commonwealth’s children have some form of health insurance, we must address the inequities that remain. Read more »

Good Oral Health a Key Component of Good Overall Health

Everyone should have the opportunity to have good health; oral health is an important component of this. In honor of National Public Health Week, we are highlighting the importance of oral health in maintaining the overall health of all people. Read more »

HCFA Excited to Participate in National Public Health Week - April 1-7, 2019

Today marks the first day of National Public Health Week (NPHW) organized by the American Public Health Association (APHA) to celebrate the importance of public health in protecting the health and well-being of all Americans. The theme for this year’s NPHW campaign is “Creating the Healthiest Nation: For science. For action. For health.” and Health Care For All (HCFA) is excited to join the campaign by sharing consumer health advocacy efforts underway in Massachusetts which, we believe, have direct impacts on improving public health in our state. More specifically, every day this week, HCFA... Read more »

Center For Children and Families releases report: “Nation’s Progress on Children’s Health Coverage Reverses Course”

In 2016, the rate of uninsured children in the United States hit an historic low of 4.7 percent. In a report released last week, the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute’s Center for Children and Families finds that number increased to 5 percent in 2017, marking the first rise in the number of uninsured children nationally since comparable data was first collected nearly a decade ago.  Read more »

Trump Administration Releases "Public Charge" Rule for Public Inspection

The Department of Homeland Security released the public charge rule for public comment. It was published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, October 10, 2018, marking the beginning of the 60-day comment period. At least 22 Senators have already opposed the rule in a letter to DHS, asking for it to be withdrawn altogether. After DHS considers public comments received on the proposed rule, DHS plans to issue a final public charge rule that will include an effective date at least 60 days after the date the final rule is published. In the meantime, and until a final rule is in effect, federal... Read more »

Immigrants and Health Care Expenditures: New Study Refutes Common Belief

Much of the increased attention on immigration has been fueled by the belief that immigrants are a financial drain on the American economy, particularly on the health care system. A recently published study finds this claim to be false.  The meta-analysis, Medical Expenditures on and by Immigrant Populations in the United States: A Systematic Review, written by Boston researchers Lila Flavin, Leah Zallman, Danny McCormick, and J. Wesley Boyd, focused on 16 peer-reviewed studies looking at medical expenditures of immigrant populations in the US.  Read more »

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