“Mama might be better off dead: The failure of healthcare in urban America”, was written by an investigative reporter Laurie Kaye Abraham in 1993. This is a disturbing and profound look at the human side of the health care and how government health care policies work when they hit the streets. This is a story of an impoverished African-American family dealing with devastating illnesses and how they end up in a miserable dilemma.
Saradgine Sincere Sociology of Health and Illness 03/04/16 Melissa MacDonald Assignment #2 In the book “mama might be better off dead” written by Laurie Kaye Abraham, tells a story of Jackie Banes and her family, and their struggles to hold the family’s health together. Her grandmother Mrs. Cora Jackson, who pretty much raised her, has suffered the amputation of one leg because of uncontrolled diabetes. Jackie’s father, Tommy, who has suffered a stroke because he didn’t care about the consequences of high blood pressure. Jackie’s husband, Robert, who has a progressive kidney disease. Abraham has gone out of her way to find more about the American health care system in North Lawndale, Illinois. Throughout the book she talks about how the health care system in America is so unfair and unsatisfactory to the needs of poor people such as the Banes’s Family.
The health of a nation plays an integral part in the overall success and economic well being of a particular country. The United Stated, while pouring more money into the healthcare system than any other country, still stands as a broken system with inadequate care for many citizens. One of the most marginalized groups of people, African American women, continually score alarmingly low on basic measures of overall health. The healthcare discrepancies between white and black women in the United States are alarming, and they reveal flaws in the American health care system as a whole.
Introduction The purpose of this paper is to give an overview of two federally and/or state funded programs. The programs that will be discussed are Medicare and Medicaid. In this paper will be information about who receives Medicaid/Medicare, the services offered by these programs, and those long term services that are not.
Section One: 310 Words In the book, Mama Might Be Better off Dead, there were two main characters that were crucial to the plot of the story, Jackie Banes and Mrs. Jackson. Throughout the book, I found Mrs. Jackson to have the best connection with public health. Mrs. Jackson was an elderly and disabled women with a variety of health care odds stacked against her. She had numerous health concerns; such as, diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, and an amputated limb (Abraham, 1993). Mrs. Jackson suffered these health issues because she was a poverty stricken women and experienced economically depressed living conditions. Due to her low socio-economic status, Mrs. Jackson did not qualify for full coverage Medicaid because she was not considered in a low enough income bracket unless she put more than half of her monthly social security towards health benefits (Abraham, 1993). As a woman with limited resources, Mrs. Jackson was unable to afford the cost of benefits much less her own survival expenses. The duration that Mrs. Jackson experienced insufficient resources led her to all of her unfortunate outcomes regarding her health. One of the reasons Mrs. Jackson needed an amputation on her leg was due to an untreated wound that resulted from her diabetes. Her diabetes had also gone untreated because she was unable to afford treatment and transportation costs to help her infection heal (Abraham, 1993). In the book, no one cared about Mrs. Jackson and it was because she was a poor
The preventative care also follows to Medicaid problems. As Medicaid only covers some people like children and people with disabilities, it only covers half of the medical expenses. For the elderly and the disabled, it doesn’t cover long-term nursing home care or prescription medications. (Reese) If things weren’t bad enough, Bush administration has opposed broad cuts to Medicaid by up to ten billion dollars. This is
Widening economic inequality in the United States is being accompanied by increasing health care disparity. While the health care system seeks to provide health care as a human right, it fails to do so often worsening the disparities (Dickman, Himmelstein, & Woolhandler, 2017). While health care today has made major strides, there are many people who are still suffering from health care system injustices. Of the people who are still uninsured a majority of them are in the middle-working class or those living in poverty. Poor Americans have less access to health care than wealthy Americans. The life expectancy gap between the rich and poor continues to widen. Health care in poor communities is too often neglected. This issue has been a trend in the United States for many years. In Abraham’s book, Mama might be better off dead these very same inequalities are evident for the Banes family. Because of these inequalities, preventive illness becomes life threatening causing care to then become extensive and even more expensive.
Medicaid is a social health care program that covers nearly 60 million Americans, including children, pregnant women, seniors, parents and individuals suffering with disabilities. Medicaid is the biggest source of funding for health related services and medical needs for the people with low income in the United States. This program is funded jointly by the state and federal level governments, but it is the state’s responsibility to manage this program. The Medicaid program is not a required program that states have to use, but all 50 states have implemented this program. With the introduction of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and its passing in 2010, the ACA unveiled its plans to expand Medicaid eligibility to nearly all low-income adults as an addition to the other groups that fall into the Medicaid eligibility. The Medicaid program had “many gaps in coverage for adults” because it was only restricted to the low income individuals and other people with needs in their own specific category. In the past, the majority of the states who had adults that did not have children dependent on those parents were not eligible for Medicaid. These low income adults without dependent children would be without medical insurance assistance before the ACA was introduced. Medicaid is now available to all Americans under the age of 65 whose family income is at or below the federal poverty guideline of “133 percent or $14,484 for an individual and $29,726 for a family of four in 2011” (NSCL).
In a survey conducted in 2003, it highlighted that the recurrent problem is the reimbursement rate from Medicaid to the physician (O’Shea, 2007). The Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) show that 21% of physicians that state they accept Medicaid have reported they will not accept a new Medicaid patient in 2004-2005(O’Shea, 2007). This number would only logically be assumed to have risen in 2013 A survey conducted by the U.S. National Health reported that researchers have found two standout trends among Medicaid beneficiaries: they have more difficulty getting primary care and specialty care and they visit hospital emergency departments more often than those with private insurance (Seaberg, 2012). The lack of primary and specialty care access is mostly contributed to the following barriers; unable to reach the MD by phone, not having a timely appointment with the MD and lastly unable to find a specialty MD that will accept Medicaid. In a recent report released by the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, it stated that about 30% of Medicaid patients experience “extreme uncoordinated care”, there is a strong correlation between this situation and higher Medicaid spending and less quality of care given (Bush, 2012). After January 1st 2013, healthcare providers have experienced a 2% reduction in payments for Medicaid beneficiary, this will only create more of a problem for these patients to seek the
Medicaid, which is a separate federal funded insurance was intended to cover low-income, aged, blind, disabled individuals, parents, and their dependent children on welfare. However, the senior citizens are the population group most likely to be living in poverty, and only about half of these individuals have insurance coverage. The difference between 1965 and now, of course, is costs. Years ago spending more on health care in result covering more people were the whole point. The administration wants to broaden coverage, but cut spending.
Throughout the novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, many of those who lived in poor conditions died because they didn’t have access to proper health care. In the beginning, it’s shown that Jane’s poverty-stricken parents died after being sick, and the same happened to Jane’s childhood friend Helen after a typhus outbreak at their school. In both of those situations they were too poor to receive the medical care that they needed. This problem still exists in modern times, except it involves not only the poor, but also the elderly and disabled. In the 1960s the Medicare and Medicaid programs were put into place to try to help those that can’t afford health insurance. However, not everyone is eligible for those programs, so they still lack
Texas’s decision the not expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act has took a toll on many Texans. Texas is one of many states yet to expand the Medicaid program. With the decision not to expand Medicaid, it have left many low-income families uninsured and without an option for affordable
N602 Medicaid has help many qualified Americans who were historically unable to access health care. At the same time, it has raised questions and controversies as how efficient is the plan overall. Various research studies were conducted and contradicting results were presented. According to Paradise and Garfield (2013), some said that having no coverage at all is better that having a Medicaid coverage. On the other hand, some expressed that Medicaid paved a way to improved health due to increased access to services that provides prevention of diseases, health maintenance, and effective treatment (Paradise & Garfield, 2013). As for me I am in favor of the later, health care access for all. It comes down to equitable distribution of resources
Throughout the early 1980’s and 1990’s the Federal Medicaid program was challenged by rapidly rising Medicaid program costs and an increasing number of uninsured population. One of the primary reasons for the overall increase in healthcare costs is the
Money plays a huge role in access, therefore it is a vital issue to discuss. Within the current system, lack of money results in lack of health care, which leaves thousands of people without any health care coverage. Between 2001 and 2005, the number of people paying for health insurance increased 30%, however income only raised 3% (Health Care Problems). Adequate income is a necessity and unfortunately that is not present. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the average annual premium across the country is $16,000. Currently, the average annual income in the United States is $51,107. Mint Money Management suggests that about 4-6% of one’s total income should be spent on insurance, including life, disability, and health insurance. However, the averages in the United States show that the average person spends about 31% of their income on health insurance, which is not financially beneficial. When this rise in health insurance is not parallel to the inflation of income, innocent people are left without a method to achieve health care. There is a program for those who can’t afford health insurance out of pocket nor have access to it, and that is called Medicaid. Issues still exist with the program. There is only so much funding, which leaves many still uninsured. Additionally, people with Medicaid have difficulty