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health

Senate Democrats highlight Black maternal health care stories amid confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett

In emails to TheGrio, senators expressed concern over Obamacare’s future with Barrett on the high court.

Democrats U.S. senators are sharing stories of African American moms who have benefited from the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The lawmakers are hoping to bring attention to the tens of millions of people ensured under former President Barack Obama’s signature piece of legislation, which could be overturned by the Supreme Court when Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed. 

Significantly, Black maternal health could be most at risk if the ACA is struck down. 

A vote to confirm Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett, shown testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the third day of her confirmation hearing, is slated to take place on Monday. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images)
A vote to confirm Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett, shown testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the third day of her confirmation hearing, is slated to take place on Monday. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images)

In an email exclusive to TheGrio, several Democratic senators expressed concern over Obamacare’s future.

“Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court is a severe threat to the ACA – and a significant risk to worsening the disparities seen in maternal health,” writes Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal. 

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“We must be working to find comprehensive solutions to address the Black maternal health crisis facing this country, not nominating radical judges looking to potentially strip health care from those who need it most,” Blumenthal opines. “There should be no exceptions, no disparities when it comes to maternal health. Every parent deserves access to the quality, affordable care and support they need to have a healthy pregnancy, birth and baby.”

According to HealthInsurance.org, “before Obamacare made coverage guaranteed issue, pregnancy itself was also considered a pre-existing condition that would prevent an expectant parent — male or female — from obtaining coverage in all but five states.”

Read More: Amy Coney Barrett says she and Haitian-born daughter ‘wept together’ after Floyd death

The MOMS Act reintroduced by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is comprised of three components aimed at reducing pregnancy complications and deaths. 

It would authorize and expand the Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM) Program at the Health and Human Services Department through 2023. The act would create a grant program to help states and hospitals implement maternal safety best practices. Lastly, it would improve reporting on pregnancy-related and pregnancy-associated deaths and complications.

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Gillibrand, a former Democratic presidential nominee, wrote that the MOMS Act is necessary to “address racial disparities in maternal health and provide resources to health providers to prevent these complications from happening before, during and after childbirth.” 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that “wide racial/ethnic gaps exist between non-Hispanic black (37.1 per 100,000 live births), non-Hispanic white (14.7), and Hispanic (11.8) women, which is consistent with earlier data.” 

That means a Black woman is twice as likely to die in childbirth than a White woman. 

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“There is

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fitness

Goldie Hawn focuses on fitness as she pedals around Pacific Palisades in an athletic black ensemble

Goldie Hawn focuses on fitness as she pedals around Pacific Palisades wearing athletic black ensemble

She’ll soon deck the halls as Mrs. Claus in the return of The Christmas Chronicles 2.

But Goldie Hawn was focused on her fitness as she pedaled around the Pacific Palisades neighborhood of Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon. 

The 74-year-old actress rocked an all-black ensemble while soaking up the sun as she traveled around town on two wheels. 

Out and about: Goldie Hawn was focused on her fitness as she pedaled around the Pacific Palisades neighborhood of Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon

Out and about: Goldie Hawn was focused on her fitness as she pedaled around the Pacific Palisades neighborhood of Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon

Goldie looked ready for a brisk workout wearing a black tank top sports bra with matching leggings.

Peeks of her bright blonde hair peered out from underneath a white helmet and she wore silver framed sunglasses.

Hawn tucked what appeared to be face mask into her top as she rode a pearl white bicycle through the streets. 

Biker: The 74-year-old actress rocked an all-black ensemble while soaking up the sun as she traveled around town on two wheels

Biker: The 74-year-old actress rocked an all-black ensemble while soaking up the sun as she traveled around town on two wheels

Chic: Goldie looked ready for a brisk workout wearing a black tank top sports bra with matching leggings

Chic: Goldie looked ready for a brisk workout wearing a black tank top sports bra with matching leggings

Hawn will reprise her role as Santa’s leading lady in the upcoming Netflix sequel which will be released on Nov. 25.

In the first official trailer, ‘true believer’ teenager Kate Pierce (Darby Camp) and her pal Jack (Jahzir Bruno) find themselves unexpectedly transported to the North Pole during a family vacation with their parents. 

Oscar-nominated producer Chris Columbus (Harry Potter, Home Alone) directed and co-wrote the merry sequel with The Christmas Chronicles screenwriter Matt Lieberman.

Tis the season: Hawn will reprise her role as Santa's leading lady in the upcoming Netflix sequel which will be released on Nov. 25

Tis the season: Hawn will reprise her role as Santa’s leading lady in the upcoming Netflix sequel which will be released on Nov. 25

Adventure: In the first official trailer, 'true believer' teenager Kate Pierce (Darby Camp) and her pal Jack (Jahzir Bruno) find themselves unexpectedly transported to the North Pole during a family vacation with their parents

Adventure: In the first official trailer, ‘true believer’ teenager Kate Pierce (Darby Camp) and her pal Jack (Jahzir Bruno) find themselves unexpectedly transported to the North Pole during a family vacation with their parents

While TCC2 features Judah Lewis, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, and Tyrese Gibson, Goldie’s real-life son Oliver Hudson will not be back as deceased dad Doug Pierce in flashbacks.

The 2018 original flick managed to score an eye-popping 20 million views in its first week of streaming, despite having a 67% Rotten Tomatoes rating.

‘Kurt has never had that many people see one of his movies in the first week ever,’ Netflix CCO Ted Sarandos told Business Insider in 2018.

‘That’s a testimony to what we can bring to the market for storytellers today that we couldn’t have 10 years ago…If every one of those was a movie ticket purchase, that’s a $200M opening week.’

'Kurt has never had that many people see one of his movies in the first week ever,' Netflix CCO Ted Sarandos told Business Insider in 2018

‘Kurt has never had that many people see one of his movies in the first week ever,’ Netflix CCO Ted Sarandos told Business Insider in 2018

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health

How does risk vary for Black and Asian patients with COVID-19?

New research suggests that people of Black, mixed, and Asian ethnicity are more at risk of COVID-19, but these risks vary as the disease progresses.

A new study finds that COVID-19 risks for people of Black, mixed, or Asian ethnicity vary over the course of the disease.

The research also suggests that even after accounting for socioeconomic status and other comorbidities, these populations are more at risk of contracting COVID-19.

For the authors of the research, which appears in the journal EClinicalMedicine, this suggests that other yet-to-be-identified factors associated with ethnicity are likely to be at play.

As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, both anecdotal evidence and emerging studies are making clear how the disease disproportionately affects people from different ethnic backgrounds.

However, the reasons for this, precisely what form these effects take, and how different ethnic groups are affected are yet to be fully understood.

For example, a person’s ethnicity may make them more likely to be exposed to the virus, contract it, develop a severe case of COVID-19, or all three.

There may also be different reasons for these increased risks. Ethnicity may increase risk due to associated illnesses, socioeconomic status, education, employment, genetic differences, or issues linked to racism that encompasses many of the issues mentioned above.

Furthermore, ethnicity itself is a complicated factor due to the complexities of individual genetic heritage.

As Dr. Winston Morgan, a Reader in Toxicology and Clinical Biochemistry at the University of East London, United Kingdom, argues, “there is as much genetic variation within racialized groups as there is between the whole human population.”

For the researchers, while genetic differences can, at times, be associated with specific ethnicities and linked to particular health issues, how this could work in the context of COVID-19 is far from clear.

Indeed, for Dr. Morgan: “The evidence suggests that the new coronavirus does not discriminate but highlights existing discriminations. The continued prevalence of ideas about race today – despite the lack of any scientific basis – shows how these ideas can mutate to justify the power structures that have ordered our society since the 18th century.”

In this context, better understanding the relationship between adverse COVID-19 outcomes and ethnicity is crucial in reducing these negative outcomes.

To contribute to this task, the authors of the present research developed a study to examine whether people from different ethnic groups are more likely to be admitted to hospital with severe COVID-19 and whether they are more likely to die from the disease. The team also wanted to consider the socioeconomic factors and comorbidities associated with the differences they identified.

The authors carried out two studies. The first — an observational study — looked at the data from 1,827 adults who had confirmed cases of COVID-19 and were admitted to King’s College Hospital in London, UK, between March 1 and June 2, 2020.

The second — a

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health

‘The impact of work’: On-the-job coronavirus exposure a key driver in Black, Latino communities | Business News

Because it was a nice afternoon in March, Katrina Llorens Joseph and her husband Albert decided to sit outside for lunch at the Subway restaurant not far from City Park.

Afterward, she went back to her desk at the VA Hospital, and he got behind the wheel of a city bus.

“He dropped me off at work and then he went on to work,” she said.

As routine as the lunch was, it now seems like a fateful one to Joseph, 52. The couple had been very careful about isolating. She believes her husband, 53, came in contact with the virus that day at an emergency meeting with a bunch of other bus drivers. Within a few weeks, 1 in 8 Regional Transit Authority employees would test positive in a COVID-19 outbreak that led to the deaths of three workers.

Antonio Travis is 27 years old and the picture of health.

Days after that lunch, Albert Joseph left work early, suffering from fevers, chills and a high fever.

His wife snapped into action. “I figured he had the virus,” she said.

Katrina Joseph moved to the guest room. She began wearing a mask in the house, pulled out new toothbrushes for everyone, wiped down doorknobs, washed her hands and served food on paper plates.

Even so, the whole family became infected. For the next few weeks, the couple and their daughter, Danielle, 19, were all bedridden in separate rooms of their house in Chalmette. They spiked 104-degree fevers. Sometimes, they collapsed on the way to the bathroom. On four separate occasions, when fingertip monitors indicated dangerously low oxygen levels, they called 911, though the ambulances twice left empty.



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Albert Joseph, a bus driver for RTA, poses in his home in Chalmette, La., Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020. The Joseph family suffered coronavirus at the same time.




Once, paramedics took an oxygen-deficient Albert Joseph to the hospital for a four-hour stay. The second time, they carried out a very weak Katrina Joseph. She spent eight days in Ochsner Health Center in St. Bernard Parish, “lying there, knowing that I had this disease that was killing people all around me.”

The Josephs’ story is hardly unusual. But leading researchers say their experience and others like it offer a window into why the coronavirus has hit Black communities particularly hard across the nation. Many frontline workers who continued to work through the pandemic were exposed on the job and brought the virus home to infect entire households.

Workplace spread a driver

Within Louisiana, Blacks have accounted for nearly half of all COVID-19 deaths to date, despite making up a little less than a third of state residents. The biggest reason for the coronavirus’ cruel toll in Black communities seems to be its outsized infection rate there: when compared with White Louisiana residents, Black Louisianans have been three times as likely to contract the virus.



101120 Racialized Pandemic Work Risks

A new, much-discussed study concluded that the disproportionate spread in the Black community originates in

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dentist

Celeb Dentist Berated His Only Black Worker, Suit Says

Law360 (October 16, 2020, 4:36 PM EDT) — A jet-setting dentist with celebrity clients has been slapped with a race bias suit in New York state court by a Black ex-employee who said he called her “lazy” and “fat” as part of a campaign of harassment that left her no choice but to quit.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday against Dr. Michael Apa and his practice by former dental assistant Meshana Alves, cites alleged violations of New York City and state human rights law and demanded $1.5 million in damages.

“Plaintiff Alves was continuously defamed, harassed and humiliated on a daily basis when defendant Apa was in the New York…

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