"COVID-19 disproportionately impacts those with pre-existing conditions, and our health care system leaves one in five Americans with a pre-existing condition uninsured. Further, with multiple COVID-19 vaccines already in early but slow distribution, attaining universal coverage is critical, particularly in light of uninsurance having an inverse relationship with vaccination rates. President Biden will ...

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Many who know me might be shocked by this: I shot my first pistol when I was 8 or 9, taught by my father, a physician, aiming at targets in our basement. At summer camp, I loved riflery the way some kids loved art. Staring through the sight, down the barrel, I proved an excellent shot, gathering ever more advanced medals from the National Rifle Association. As a reward, for ...

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I was an ICU nurse for 17 years, and it was during my last two years of my career when I was diagnosed with lung cancer. Going into and out of the hospital for my chemo sessions. Going into and out of the clinic for my follow-up appointments with my oncologist was the most harrowing times of my life. At this moment, I realized that my own health insurance refused to pay ...

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As a physician and businessperson who has dedicated his career to improving health equity, I consider news about vaccines going into arms bittersweet. An uncomfortable question remains: Whose arms are they going into? Data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services points to an inequitable rollout. White, non-Hispanic Americans are receiving more than their equitable portion of vaccines, while Black and Hispanic/Latinx Americans are receiving ...

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"It is not enough to say we are anti-racist; we have to modify our systems to recognize that we have placed individuals of color at risk of poorer outcomes.  Lack of insurance, lack of finances, or even the presence of certain diagnoses may reflect less about the person and more about our ...

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For many of my patients, I am the first Asian and first Chinese person they have personally interacted with. I am placed in a unique situation at this point in time; being an Asian doctor (and the only Asian) working in a rural clinic in the middle of a pandemic that has often been blamed on people who look like me. Not one day goes by without me being acutely ...

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I urge the president to use executive action to cancel student debt. As president, he can take immediate action on student debt which would be a lifeline for students, parents, and their families. The COVID-19 pandemic is a health crisis like we have never seen before. Adding the heavy burden of student debt is a recipe for disaster for millions of families. Student debt cancellation would provide much-needed relief during the ...

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“Wait, are you Chinese? I don’t want to get COVID.” First of all, I am Vietnamese, and second, not all Asians look alike. And third, what? Those were the thoughts going through my head while working at the San Carlos Respiratory Clinic in April 2020. Initially shivering from the cold weather underneath my scrubs and PPE, I could now feel my body hot with anger as I listened to a patient’s ...

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"We need full transparency and empowerment of patients and doctors to make wise decisions. We must renew and restore the sanctity of the patient-doctor relationship. We need to stop pretending that health care can be 'free,' stop calling premium price prepaid care 'insurance,' and use market forces like choice and competition ...

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“There will be a knock at the door,” says Rene, an El Salvadoran pastor and my close friend, “and they will say, ‘Give us your daughter, or we will kill you and your family.’” He continues: “Gangs control many of the villages. They are in the schools; they are in this school! If the leader sees a girl that he likes, no matter her age, he sends members of his gang ...

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My patient was very upset. The 34-year-old mother of two young children had come to the emergency department (ED) with abdominal pain despite her COVID-19 concerns. I had just told her that she had a benign ovarian cyst rather than the life-threatening condition that she had imagined. She was happy with the diagnosis, but she feared that her employer-supplied health insurance would not cover this “non-emergent” diagnosis. How could it ...

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It is a macabre fact. The easing of COVID shutdowns has brought back mass shootings in the U.S. With almost no packed schools, movie theaters, malls, airports, and fewer packed workplaces during the last year, mass shootings did not lead the news. Now they are back. This month's shootings at Atlanta spas and at a Boulder, Colorado grocery store have jolted the nation back into the banality and unpredictability of gun ...

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In March, thousands of medical students received their residency match results. For most specialties, match rates for graduating U.S. MD seniors have typically remained above 90 percent. This almost certain job security is what allows most medical students to consider taking on astronomical amounts of student debt. The individualist message is clear throughout medical school: Focus on yourself, your achievements, and hope for the best. Absent from these ...

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Since the national election of 2020, racism at the polls has become a hot topic that Democrats hope soon to remedy with the election reform bill, H.R.1. I imagine many health care practitioners are wondering what is wrong with so many of our political leaders that they can promote laws restricting voting access disproportionately to people of color. Surely, if they took a look at how we handle things in ...

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"Definitions ground us in our profession and in our world. Definitions matter because they help us pause, give our body a moment to settle, and our breath time to move in and out. Our racist actions, inactions, and comments are invasive throughout our waking hours, but we can change them if we can ...

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I write this from the Midwestern United States. My home. A generally underserved region. I’m a young doctor near the end of my training. My generation, I think it’s safe to say, has in large part bought into the general process of medical education, the natural progression through training, and the accompanying stressors and debts that are a typical part of the experience. Burn out, they say, is at an all-time ...

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Eta was a 76-year-old woman with a recent heart attack in and out of the hospital over the last several months. Her course had been complicated by social determinants of health, in that she lacked reliable transportation for necessary follow-up, had unstable housing, and her insurance did not cover valuable care from home health agencies. These obstacles made it difficult for her and her doctors to ensure that she recovered. ...

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On March 16, 2021, 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long had a “bad day,” in the words of Captain Jay Baker of the Cherokee County Sheriff's Department, and went to three different spas or massage parlors to kill eight people, including six Asian-American women, before being stopped. Had he not been stopped, he may have intended to continue on to Florida to murder more ...

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The last four years of American political life have demonstrated the pervasive nature of identity politics in America. We are so sharply divided that we can’t even choose to agree on the terms of reality. In a world so divided, letting people know what we believe to distinguish ourselves from the evils of the contrary has become obligatory. A somewhat unintended consequence of this is our eagerness to embrace and ...

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On a typical pandemic Thursday night, I found myself scrolling through TikTok.  This has turned into the guilty pleasure of my life.  Sometimes you need something to do that will make you forget about your own problems and work.  On this particular day, I came across a young woman talking about her experience in the military.  She appeared on my page, tears in her eyes, explaining her traumatic event with ...

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