Health disparities emerge on modern civil rights front

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She started to walk at least three times a week. Edwards no longer needs medication and is in the best health of her life. (Photo: Gannett/Leigh Taylor, Cincinnati Enquirer) Story Highlights March anniversary inspires focus on economics, health Blacks lack equal access to best care, food More likely to suffer from diseases like diabetes, hypertension SHARE 1 CONNECT 27 TWEET COMMENTEMAILMORE CINCINNATI — When Jocelyn Storr turned 40, she looked at her scale and her father’s deteriorating health from a stroke and heart attack and decided to make a change. As an African-American, she had resigned herself to a life of hypertension and weight struggles. Then she realized that she controlled her own health. So she started walking regularly, closely monitoring her portion sizes and sugar intake as well as that of her children and grandchildren. She has lost 30 pounds and gained energy to put into her event planning business. “I didn’t want to end up like my dad, and I know how hard it is to change, so I wanted to give my kids and grandkids a head start,” said Storr, 43, of Colerain Township. These actions embody the type of change that health advocates want more people of color to experience. The effort to reduce critical health disparities between African-Americans and white Americans is expanding nationally, and on this, the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom is increasingly seen as some of the unfinished business of the fight for racial equality.

Delta Air Lines: Next Year, Our Health Care Costs Will Increase By ‘Nearly $100 Million’

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Kentucky Health Workers Pitch Obamacare At State Fair Alongside Corn Dogs, Fried Kool-Aid

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The IRS’ main job under the new law isn’t to enforce penalties. Its first task is to inform many small-business owners of a new tax credit that the new law grants them — starting this year — which will pay up to 35 percent of the employer’s contribution toward their workers’ health insurance. And in 2014 the IRS will also be administering additional subsidies — in the form of refundable tax credits — to help millions of low- and middle-income individuals buy health insurance. The law does make individuals subject to a tax, starting in 2014, if they fail to obtain health insurance coverage. But IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman testified before a hearing of the House Ways and Means Committee March 25 that the IRS won’t be auditing individuals to certify that they have obtained health insurance.

As Factcheck goes on to note, on page 131 of the bill that was passed, the IRS is explicitly prohibited from “from using the liens and levies commonly used to collect money owed by delinquent taxpayers, and rules out any criminal penalties for individuals who refuse to pay the tax or those who don’t obtain coverage.” Affordable Care Act Bill Is Way Too Long And Impossible To Read! Oh, Congresscritters, the poor dears!

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