by German Lopez
Streetcar gets executive, businesses call for inclusion, gun control group opens Ohio chapter
John Deatrick is taking over as project executive of the Cincinnati streetcar project, moving on from his previous work as project manager of The Banks. Deatrick’s hiring announcement happened in April, but it was delayed while City Council fixed the project’s budget gap. Deatrick and his team previously won an award
for their work at The Banks, and he says he will bring the same scrutiny
and success to the streetcar project. A new project manager for The
Banks is set to be hired in August. Since the streetcar project’s
inception, it has been mired in misrepresentations and political
controversy, which CityBeat covered in further detail here.
Local business leaders are calling on the city government to change its contracting policies to target minority- and women-owned businesses. Advocates argue the city’s inclusion rates have greatly dropped
since Cincinnati did away with its inclusion program in the 1990s, but
the city administration points out the rates are likely understated
because women- and minority-owned businesses are no longer required to report
themselves as minorities or women. The business leaders say the figures are too low regardless,
which could have big implications since minority-owned businesses are
more likely to hire minorities, who have twice the unemployment rate as
white residents. As a result of court rulings, Cincinnati needs to first
conduct a disparity study before it makes any changes that specifically target minorities or women.
Gabrielle Giffords’s anti-gun violence organization is opening an Ohio chapter
to promote legislation that intends to protect both the public
and the rights of gun owners. Giffords, a former U.S. representative
who survived an assassination attempt, has been touring around the
country — at one point coming to Cincinnati
— to speak out against gun violence. Gun control legislation
failed in the U.S. Senate in April after it fell short of getting 60 votes to overcome
procedural hurdles, even though polling shows a clear majority of
Americans favor such legislation.
Local government funding may be further reduced
as a result of recent tax cuts because the Local Government Fund traditionally gets a percent of state tax revenue. Specifically, critics are concerned
less state tax revenue will slow down “natural growth” in funding to
cities and counties. Last week, an analysis from Policy Matters Ohio
found the recently passed two-year state budget already reduces local government funding, following even steeper reductions in the previous budget. The cuts since Gov. John Kasich took office have cost Cincinnati more than $22 million.
A traffic camera ban would cost Ohio cities and counties millions of dollars in revenue.
Ohio gas prices are starting down this week.
Home-schooled and private-school students have a right to play on public school teams because of a provision in the recently passed state budget.
When Columbus’ parking meters were upgraded to accept credit cards, revenue jumped by 13.2 percent. Cincinnati’s meters will be upgraded as part of the parking privatization plan.Ohio air bases are undergoing review
this week as part of Congress’ attempts to gauge whether the nation’s
Air Force is prepared for current and future missions and homeland
Slow news day, Enquirer?
Florida researchers found “fat shaming” actually perpetuates obesity.
It would probably take 300 to 500 piranhas five minutes to strip the flesh off a 180-pound human.
0 Comments · Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Following a national trend, Ohio’s
minorities have the lowest levels of health care coverage, according to a
new study from The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. The study looked
at 2006-2008 data for only men to gauge health insurance coverage and
other health issues in a pre-Obamacare world.
by German Lopez
Study shows Hispanics have lowest coverage in the state
Following a national trend, Ohio's minorities have the lowest levels of health care coverage, according to a new study from The Henry J.
Kaiser Family Foundation. The study looked at 2006-2008 data for only
men to gauge health insurance coverage and other health issues in a pre-Obamacare world.
In Ohio, Hispanics have the highest rates of no coverage
at 40.1 percent. Blacks are second with 25.3 percent having no
coverage. Meanwhile, only 14.6 percent of whites have no coverage.
The disparity is prevalent on a national level. Hispanics
still lead the nation with rates of no coverage at 46 percent, but
Native Americans overtake blacks on a national level with a rate of 38.5
percent. Blacks are 28.8 percent, Asians and Pacific Islanders are 21
percent, and whites are 15.7 percent.
The study assigned “disparity scores” to measure the
racial disparity in health care coverage. The national average score was
2.27. Ohio did better than most of the nation and its neighbors with a
score of 1.83. Kentucky was rated 2.06, Indiana 2.14 and Michigan
1.86. Pennsylvania and West Virginia beat out Ohio with scores of 1.74 and 1.31,
The study also looked at access to personal doctors and
health care providers. Ohio did a little better in this category among Hispanics.
The study found 30.5 percent of blacks had no access to a personal
doctor or health care providers, while 27.6 percent of Hispanics did
not. Whites remained at the top with only 21.1 percent not having access
to a personal doctor or health care provider.
For black men, the most striking national health disparity was that
black men were more than seven times more likely as white
men to be diagnosed with AIDS. For every 100,000 men, 104.1 black people
were newly diagnosed with AIDS. Hispanics were second with 40.8, then
Native Americans at 17.3, then whites at 13.7, then Asians and Pacific
Islanders at eight. Overall, the study assigned a 4.37 disparity score
to AIDS diagnoses nationwide.
In Ohio, the rates of new AIDS cases were better overall,
but the disparity score was worse than the national average at 5.23.
Among whites, only 7.3 out of 100,000 were newly diagnosed with AIDS.
Blacks were 46.2, Hispanics were 26.1, Native Americans were 9.8 and
Asian and Pacific Islanders were 1.6.
The report also looks at poverty levels, incarceration
rates, routine checkups, unemployment, the wage gap and more. The full
report can be found here.
Ohio Medicaid Director John McCarthy said on Sept. 26 Ohio might expand its Medicaid program, but at lower levels
than Obamacare demands. Using the incentive of federal Medicaid dollars,
President Barack Obama’s health care reform asks states to expand their
state Medicaid programs to include everyone at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty level. The
requirement overlaps with the newly established exchanges, which cover
individuals between 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty
level by providing a market in which insurance companies compete for
customers getting federal subsidies for health insurance. McCarthy said
he would like to eliminate the overlap and only expand Medicaid to cover
up to 100 percent of the federal poverty level.
Historically, Medicaid helps minorities the most. Medicaid
expansions in other states also showed improvements in health and
mortality rates while saving money by eliminating the amount of