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Medicare and Medicaid at 50: Some Annual Physicals Look Better Than Others

Medicare and Medicaid were signed into law on July 30, 1965, to provide health insurance primarily for the elderly and the poor, respectively.  With the stroke of a pen President Lyndon B. Johnson amended the Social Security law to establish Medicare and Medicaid, and today the two programs are responsible for the health insurance coverage of more than 1 in 3 Americans. Click the link above to read more.

HPRC Publications
Medicare's Pathway to Racial Integration  tells the seldom told story of how Medicare helped desegregate the nation's hospitals during the Jim Crow era. 
Medicaid: Still Going Strong gives an essential snapshot of all the nuances associated with Medicaid.
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August 4, 2015 


This August marks 50 years since the Voting Rights Act (VRA) was first signed into law on August 6, 1965. The struggle for equal voting rights for people of color in the U.S. began nearly a century prior to the law being signed.   I n 1869 the 15th amendment (ratified in 1870) allowed Black men voting rights stating:
" The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude... "

However, many African Americans residing in the South faced institutional barriers to voter registration including discriminatory literacy tests, poll taxes and other oppressive tactics. Section 4 of the VRA addressed these challenges by establishing a criteria to identify states and/or localities that were subject to section 5, which prohibited changes in voting rights laws in select jurisdictions, including exclusionary voting methods (such as voter-ID laws).  Equal voting rights were one of the major triumphs of the Civil Rights Movement, but even after the VRA was signed into law there were many challenges to equity in voting. 
 In  1970 the VRA was extended for five years, for seven years in 1975 and for 25 years in  1982 .  Still, voting rights laws are ever changing. The Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2015 arrives on the heels of the June 25, 2013 Supreme Court ruling that struck down section 4 of the VRA, which determines which states need federal oversight regarding voting laws. To learn more about voting laws visit The History of Federal Voting Laws.


Come join the  Health Policy Research Consortium  (HPRC) and the  Town of Capitol Heights, MD  for the first-ever Back-to-School Health Extravaganza on  Saturday, August 29th from 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m . Get your child's free school supplies!  Enjoy free food!  Participate in health screenings and fun activities for kids!  Hear special guests talk about what you can do to improve health for your children and your community.  The free event will take place at the  Oakcrest Community Center 1300 Capitol Heights Blvd. in Capitol Heights, Maryland . For more information please call 301-375-2021. Click  HERE  to register.  


On Monday, July 13th the White House hosted its decennial Conference on Aging, aptly aligned with the 50th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid and the 80th anniversary of the Social Security Act. The first White House Conference on Aging (WHCoA) was held in 1961, since then the event has played a critical role in shaping elder policies in America. Issues addressed during the 2015 conference ranged from  care-giving  to inter-generational bonds. HHS'  new comprehensive aging resource site, HHS.gov/aging was announced during the conference. The National Institutes of Health , the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services , the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Social Security Administration are among some of the government agencies that contributed. The WHCoA forces all to consider a vital question: How can we empower all Americans as they age? For insights and  conference  highlights , visit the official website . A WHCoA fact sheet can be found HERE .
Town Highlight: Arden, Delaware

The Village of Arden is located in New Castle County, Delaware. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the total population of Arden is 439, with a 160 acre land mass. As a "... utopian, single-tax community noted for its arts, crafts, music, and theater." The Village of Arden is managed by several committees. The resident-run committees are entrusted to address municipal services including civic issues, community planning and safety concerns. Residents of Arden Village are under a "Town Meeting" form of municipal government. A prime characteristic associated with Town Meeting municipalities is the ability for all voters to directly engage in the legislative process. All eligible residents of the Village of Arden have an opportunity to vote on local policy decisions.  The National League of Cities notes this form of government is considered the "purest form of democracy".   Town Meeting municipal governments generally work well for small towns such as Arden, but can create deadlock or prolonged decision making in larger localities. Click the link above to learn more about The Village of Arden. 
Community Voices: National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Equal Voting Rights

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is one of the nation's longest standing civil rights organizations. NAACP works to ensure equal rights regardless of race or ethnicity. Many of the civil rights accomplishments in the last century were supported by the NAACP, including equal voting rights. In April of this year the Maryland General Assembly approved a bill to allow nearly 40,000 formerly incarcerated Marylanders voting rights. The Prince George's County branch of the NAACP, along with several partner organizations under the Unlock the Vote Coalition, championed the bill. Tomas Lopez with the Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law remarked: "Americans believe in second chances. Restoring a person's right to vote once they've paid their debt to society gives them an opportunity for redemption..."

The fact that over 2 million African Americans nationwide are denied voting rights due to a criminal conviction, nearly 50 years after the historic march in Selma, Alabama and enactment of the Voting Rights Act, speaks to the need for relevant, enforceable social justice policy that protects voting and other civil rights for all Americans. Click the link to learn more about the NAACP and their work.  

NIMHD Updates

Brother, You're On My Mind

NIMHD  and  Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., are leading an innovative  initiative to raise awareness about mental health issues among African American men. The Brother, You're  On My Mind: Changing the National Dialogue Regarding Mental Health Among African American Men, will leverage organizational resources to raise awareness of the physical consequences of stress and depression and the importance of seeking mental health care among Omega Psi Phi  Fraternity  members.  Educational materials informed by evidence-based approaches to mental illness will be disseminated nationally among the Omega network. NIMHD will also provide resources to measure and evaluate the outcomes of the initiative. View this Mental Health Snapshot of African American Men to learn more.

Upcoming Events


Event: 8th Annual Love Alive Outreach Event
Sponsor:  New Life Worship Center
Date: August  8, 2015  
Time: 5:00 P.M.-7:00 P.M.

Location: 7230 Central Avenue Capital Heights, MD 20743

Description: "Love Alive", is New Life Worship Center's 8th Annual Back to School Outreach event. The event is absolutely free and open to families and children ages 5-11 years old. Each child will be given a FREE book bag, school supplies, and clothing. Lastly, there will also be drawings for the following prizes: computers, bicycles, and gift cards etc. 

Contact Information: (301)-333-2083.

Sponsor:  Prince George's County Councilman and Chair, Mel Franklin
Date: August 30, 2015
Time: 3:00 P.M.-6:00 P.M.
Location: Show Place Arena 14900 Pennsylvania Avenue, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
Description: The Prince George's County Family & Friends Day is one of the County's biggest events of the year. The day will feature local community organizations and businesses, live performances and more. Click HERE to register.
Contact: (301) 952-3820 

Please feel free to contact the HPRC Team at 301.375.2021 with any questions.

Thank you,

The Health Policy Research Consortium

Disclaimer: The Health Policy Research Consortium (HPRC), a CTIS, Inc. program, is a U54 partnership grant funded by the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), a subsidiary of the National Institutes of Health. HPRC only provides objective, independent advice, best practices and evidence based-recommendations. HPRC does not lobby on behalf of any private or public corporation, political candidate, advocacy organization or special interest group.
Health Policy Research Consortium
6401 Golden Triangle Drive, Ste. 310
Greenbelt, MD 20770
Phone: (301) 375-2021