port of harlem magazine
 
champion services travel - group travel
 
Health Insurance Remains a Privilege Including in Maryland
 
January 30 – February 12, 2020
 
Health

ola ojewumi



At the Families USA Health Action Conference, Elizabeth Stone talked about being lucky though she is challenged with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. One of the things that make the 32-year-old feel blessed is that she got sick in 2012, after the passage of ObamaCare. She says that having the Affordable Care Act, the official name of ObamaCare, the law of the land meant she has had “less problems getting health care with a preexisting condition.”

Stone was one of hundreds of health care advocates  at the conference organized by Families USA, a non-partisan voice for health care consumers. Their annual conference  provides networking for an array of health care supporters including Stone and Ola Ojewumi and informational forums such as one on the status of health care access.

Nigerian-American Ojewumi has faced a number of challenges including surviving cancer after having an organ transplant. She too is grateful for ObamaCare. “After graduating from college, I was able to stay on my father’s health insurance because of ObamaCare,” the Maryland USA native told Port Of Harlem.

Ojewumi says she spent years hiding her disabilities, partially out of cultural reasons, even though she was in America. “It’s a hidden secret,” she added, that when children in Nigeria began showing signs of Down syndrome, for instance, “they are often drowned.”

Both represent the increasing number of Americans with healthcare under Obamacare. Ojewumi also represents the closing of the racial gap in health insurance but the progress has stalled on closing the gap since the current president took office.

Between 2013 and 2016, the uninsured rate dropped from 24.4% to 13.7% among Black adults, and from 40.2% to 25.5% among Hispanic adults, according to a report published by the Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit research foundation. Uninsured White Americans dropped from 14.5% to 8.2% during the same period.  By 2018, after the current president took office, the gap increased slightly for Blacks and only decreased slightly for Hispanics.

As expected, the uninsured are often less educated and have less income than the general population. About 64 percent of those uninsured have a high school diploma or less.

According to Families USA, non-Whites still disproportionately fill the ranks of the uninsured. In Maryland, for instance, 73 percent of the uninsured are non-Whites. Among those without insurance, 37 percent are Hispanics and 27 percent are Blacks. Maryland is 8 percent Hispanic and 30 percent Black.

As expected, the uninsured are often less educated and have less income than the general population. About 64 percent of those uninsured have a high school diploma or less.

Note: Ojewumi is also owner of Ola's Truth Boutique, which is an interesting one-stop-shop for disability pride apparel.





 
 
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