The 49th Anniversary of Medicaid and Medicare

This week marks the 49th Anniversary of Medicaid and Medicare. On July 30th, 1965 President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Medicare Bill into Law at the Harry S. Truman Library in order to improve the state of health care in the United States. Forty-five years later the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, but the hopes for Americans have not changed much since 1965.  Back  then, President Johnson noted,

“No longer will older Americans be denied the healing miracle of modern medicine. No longer will illness crush and destroy the savings that they have so carefully put away over a lifetime so that they might enjoy dignity in their later years. No longer will young families see their own incomes, and their own hopes, eaten away simply because they are carrying out their deep moral obligations to their parents, and to their uncles, and their aunts.”[1]

 Today, after four years of the signage of the Affordable Care Act, we still have American families that are not accessing the medical care they need because of lack of health insurance and the means to do so. The Deep South States are especially impacted as health outcomes continue to worsen and health disparities and poverty continue to increase.  In part this problem continues to exist because there are still states that have not expanded Medicaid.

Increase in Number of People with Insurance if Deep South States Expands Medicaid[2]
States that have not Expanded Medicaid (July 2014) People with Insurance Coverage in 2016
Alabama 235,000
Florida 848,000
Georgia 478,000
Louisiana 265,000
Mississippi 165,000
North Carolina 377,000
South Carolina 198,000
Tennessee 234,000
Texas 1,208,000


We must set a goal in order to reach Johnson’s original vision.  It would be so grand for our health system and overall well-being if we were to have Medicaid expanded in the 24 remaining states.  It would be to our collective benefit to cover all 5.7 million Americans who would be eligible for Medicaid but are currently deprived of health care.  I hope that for the 50th Anniversary, we will be celebrating the expansion of Medicaid in our home states in the South.

[1] Lyndon B. Johnson: “Remarks With President Truman at the Signing in Independence of the Medicare Bill.,” July 30, 1965. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project.

[2] Excerpts taken from Buettgens M. Kenney GM, and Recht H. “Eligibility for Assistance and Projected Changes in Coverage Under the ACA: Variation Across States.” Washington, DC. Urban Institute, 2014,

Written By: Judith Montenegro.

Searching for Ourselves in the Statehouse Reflection

Searching for Ourselves in the Statehouse Reflection


As I traveled through Jackson, Mississippi I took this photo. As I look at this photo again, I pause to reflect what a beautiful state capitol it is and what it represents.

States in the southern region of the US have gained in population while many other regions have seen population decreases. Due to these increases, the south has seen its power in the House of Representatives rise somewhat because of the increased number of congressional seats it has been afforded.  Hispanics and other marginalized groups, however, wonder about how they are represented in these congressional halls and chambers. How are their needs reflected in the congressional seats at both the federal and state level?  That reflection is not always clear; at times it is a bit cloudy and overcast.


This photo captures this sentiment and need. The building and architecture is grand and beautiful. However, it is oftentimes mired in an overcast political reality.  At times it seems like we are taking great strides then it seems we are stopping short.

Here is hoping that we continue to move forward despite overcast skies so that we may all find our reflection in the grand buildings before us.

Post and Photography by Miriam Y. Vega, PhD @miriamyvega

Inspired by the photo challenge of reflections


Other thoughts on reflection

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections | Cancer Isn’t Pink

Phone Reflections | The Bohemian Rock Star’s “Untitled Project”

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections | Nola Roots, Texas Heart

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections | littlegirlstory

And then there were a hundred!!!

We have posted our 100th blog article and we want to take a moment to thank all of our followers! The Institute for Hispanic Health Equity has been blogging for the past year with the intention of raising awareness and discussion on bridging the gap in health disparities throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. A big thank you to all our readers and followers for helping us spread the word!

In case you missed them, here are the top ten most popular articles as of today:

Please scroll bellow and take a look at what our followers are saying too…

Raise your hand if you like change

A few questions for this sunny Thursday morning:

1. How many times in the last week have you heard the news, your boss, our president, your partner, or your kid’s teacher talk about how things have to change and we have to take action?
2. How many times to do you agree?
3. How many times to you know HOW to make the change?

If you are like most people, you have a high number for question 1, lower for question 2, and even lower for question 3.  It is undeniable that we are confronted with pressure to change from all directions these days. In the workplace, we talk about “change management” and “change leadership,” and this is especially true in the health field. We can’t even talk about the field without talking about change. As such, many our leaders are (or should be) taking a step back and refreshing our strategies for making the large-scale changes that are required of the Affordable Care Act. This is no simple change that we are looking at. Many of us at community based organizations have to look at the core of who we are – our mission, our name, our clients – to figure out how to move forward in the coming years. This is a transformational change. As stated by Dean Anderson and Linda Ackerman Anderson of Being First, Inc:

“Transformation demands a shift in human awareness that completely alters the way the organization and its people see the world, customers, work and themselves” Continue reading

Hot off the Press…

Challenge accepted! The bloggers of The Hispanic Health Equity have created a bookshelf containing an array of volumes that express our interests and favorite subjects to be published (crossing fingers here) as part of the BYOB(ookworm) Daily Prompt

Please scroll and read through, comment and let us know what you think…

Hispanics as the Sleeping Giant: By Miriam Vega

Hispanics as the Sleeping Giant
Written By: Miriam Vega
Follow @miriamyvega

We are Latino@ in the Deep South: By Erik Valera

We are Latin@ in the Deep South
Written By: Erik Valera
Follow @LatinoDeepSouth

Altered States: By Emily Klukas

Altered States
Written By: Emily Klukas

How to Deal with People and Stay Classy!: By Ruben Rios

How to Deal with People and Stay Classy!
Written By: Ruben Rios

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