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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)- the agency is responsible for ensuring access to quality health care for over 100 million Americans enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid - announced cost estimates for health insurance premiums for the 2016 plan year for those buying coverage in the new health insurance marketplaces enabled by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Please click the link above to learn more.


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July 7, 2015 

As the nation reflects on the last 50 years of Medicare and Medicaid, (authorized through the 1965 amendments to the Social Security Act) America is reminded of President Lyndon B. Johnson's (LBJ's) legacy. President Johnson envisioned A Great Society. To achieve this goal President Johnson signed landmark legislative mandates intended to create an America free of racial, social and economic inequity. 

Among the issues included in Johnson's comprehensive approach to social justice were civil rights provisions, food security programs and education programs including the Head Start initiative. Today, many advancements in health equity, environmental health, education and economic development can be attributed to the set of policies passed from 1964-68. Agencies and mandates resulting from LBJ's Great Society legislation include: the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Older Americans Act of 1965the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and many others. Today, CMS provides health coverage for over 100 million Americans! Combined, the efforts resulting from LBJ's ambitious approach to equity have shaped American society.

Resources: (1) Medicaid at 50, The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, (2)  Medicare.gov (3) Medicaid.gov (4) Policy Basics: Introduction to Medicaid, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (5) Meet Medicare, AARP.

Voted one of the "best children's hospitals" (2015-16) in the nation, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), "strives to be the world leader in the advancement of healthcare for children." CHOP fulfills this charge through c ommunity programs including PolicyLab- which informs evidence-based policy changes,  Reach Out and Read-designed to improve children's literacy skills, Community Pediatrics and Advocacy Program (CPAP) -uses a community-based approach to promote pediatrics advocacy among medical residents and many other initiatives. Click the link to read more about  CHOP ! Like giving back? Anyone can volunteer  right HERE

Doctor holding stethoscope with flag series - United States

In King vs. Burwell, plaintiffs sought to confirm that the federal tax-credit subsidies of the insurance Marketplace provided to low-income Americans are in line with the provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Those residing in states that did not establish a Marketplace, according to the plaintiff's interpretation, were not eligible for these subsidies. Depending on the outcome, millions of people in 34 states could have been affected. On Thursday, June 25th, the court ruled that the federal subsidies were lawful, according to the ACA in a 6-3 vote. This is the second  time the Supreme Court ruled on the ACA mandate. In June of 2012 the requirement for U.S. citizens to purchase health insurance or endure a tax penalty came into question. The courts ruled in favor of the defendants  5-4. Whats's next for the ACA? Visit us on Facebook and Twitter to share your thoughts.

County Highlight: Arlington, VA 

In 1970 Arlington, VA made major investments in transit oriented design (TOD), this approach to urban development has been critical to the jurisdiction's success as a coveted place to live. The Arlington government delivered on its vision for a bustling urban core that accommodates families through "well defined zoning and land-use policies and plans that guide development for specific projects, neighborhoods and the County as a whole." Arlington County has no municipalities, meaning all of the services for the 26 mile land mass are managed by the county government. Today, Arlington remains a model for the surrounding region with 3.6% unemployment, is ranked number 1 in health among all counties in the Commonwealth of Virginia (according to County Health Rankings), and maintains many public health services for residents. Read the county's  urban design report to learn more.
Community Voices: Jeffrey Taylor, 
Director of Recreation, Parks & Culture, District Heights, MD

Like many communities throughout the state of Maryland, District Heights has its fair share of health challenges. In today's time of lack of activity, lack of health education, lack of ancillary funds to manage health effectively, poor nutrition and out of control calories in our food, there is still a lot of work to do to help people throughout our communities live healthier lifestyles. At the District Heights Recreation Center in District Height's, Maryland, Mr. Taylor is currently structuring resources, programs, operations and staff training to help District Height's residents with their health needs. With help and support from the Mayor, Commissioners and the City Manager, Mr. Taylor and his team are on pace to offer some exciting wellness based programs in 2016.


Mr. Taylor also coordinates medical exercise training, focusing on the development of safe and effective exercise and conditioning programs for people with medical conditions.  A large number of District Heights' residents are over the age of 50, with many in need of safe exercise routines that will help with muscle and joint weakness, discomfort and pain. The medical exercise training provided by Mr. Taylor helps residents safely meet their health and physical activity goals.

NIMHD Updates 

Health Disparities in the U.S. Still Exist: The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities draws attention to a recent issue of the American Journal of Public Health that focuses a much needed lens on "social, cultural, biological, economic and neighborhood (place) factors..." related to health inequities. Studies featured in the issue include:

Other Resources:

The Impact of Lifecourse Socioeconomic Position on Cardiovascular Disease Events in African Americans: The Jackson Heart Study

Upcoming Events


WHO:  The Victoria House Foundation  (VHF) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization with a primary focus on the advancement of education through technology. VHF brings technological tools such as computers, internet access and other peripherals to under-served public schools and struggling communities in developing countries and the United States. VHS' core focus is Sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean, Central America, South America and inner-city schools in the United States. 

WHAT:  An Evening of Hope    is VHF's inaugural fundraiser. The event will include dinner, dancing and raffle prizes. Click the link above to register.
WHEN: August 1, 2015 from 6:00 P.M.-10:00 P.M.
WHERE: The Country Club at Woodmore 12320 Pleasant Prospect Lane Mitchellville, MD 20721

WHO: The National African American Male Wellness Walk Initiative (AAMWW) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization with a focus on raising awareness for preventable health diseases.
WHAT: The National African American Male Wellness Walk Initiative has saved hundreds of lives by increasing awareness about health screenings, prevention and the importance of follow up. AAMWW's goal is to raise $200,000. Click the link to learn more.
WHEN: August 1, 2015; free screenings will start 7:00 A.M. and the walk/run will begin at 9:00 A.M.
WHERE: The National Mall at the corner of 15th St. & Independence Ave, N.W., Washington, DC.

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
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Greenbelt, MD 20770
Phone: (301) 375-2021