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Day of action focuses on CT undocumented's healthcare needs; 7 jurors seated in first Trump criminal trial; ND looks to ease 'upskill' obstacles for former college students; Black Maternal Health Week ends, health disparities persist.

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Seven jury members were seated in Trump's hush money case. House Speaker Johnson could lose his job over Ukraine aid. And the SCOTUS heard oral arguments in a case that could undo charges for January 6th rioters.

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Fears grow that low-income folks living in USDA housing could be forced out, North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues, and small towns are eligible for grants to boost civic participation..

Survey: Discrimination rampant in CT, US health care

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Thursday, December 21, 2023   

Despite efforts to the contrary, people across Connecticut and the U.S. experienced discrimination in health care.

A DataHaven report found between 15% and 20% of Black and/or low-income adults in parts of the state experienced some kind of discrimination. Nationally, a Compassion & Choices poll showed 25% of respondents experienced the same thing, which often causes people to skip or delay necessary medical care.

Amy Simon, partner at the polling firm Goodman Simon Strategic Research, was surprised by the findings.

"It was striking that one-quarter of voters report that they personally experienced or witnessed discrimination in health care, with an even higher 35% among Black people, 29% among Hispanics and 41% among people who are LGBT," Simon outlined. "That translates to millions of people who are experiencing health care discrimination."

Sometimes the issue can come down to health care affordability and the kind of insurance people use. Earlier this year, Gov. Ned Lamont signed legislation to improve health care affordability, prohibit facility fees and establish a drug discount card program. It also provided increased drug transparency for higher-cost drugs. Having the money to bring the initiatives to fruition could prove challenging.

Kim Callinan, president and CEO of Compassion & Choices, said one way to reduce discrimination is to make sure high-quality health care is available across the entire state, not just in wealthier neighborhoods.

"Clinicians need to focus on improving their cultural intelligence so that they're able to effectively interact with people who are different from them," Callinan contended. "We also need to prioritize the recruitment of a more diverse clinician pool so that people see other people that look like them."

A 2022 Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut survey reported 57% of people support expanding the state's Medicaid program to all immigrants. The hope is it can reduce health disparities and discrimination in parts of the state.


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