Online Program

Medicare and Justice: The role of Black physicians and the National Medical Association

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 9:10 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Sandra Gadson, MD, Co-chair, Commission to End Health Care Disparities, National Medical Association, Merrillville, IN
Black physicians and the National Medical Association (NMA) were important players in the passage of Medicare and critical to its use to desegregate hospitals. In fact, the organization’s national president worked out of the Department of Health Education and Welfare’s (DHEW) office calling black doctors and dentists across the country to provide hospital inspectors with inside information on discriminatory practices.  NMA leaders had been organizing for decades before Medicare was passed to desegregate medical care, organizing national conferences, picketing the American Medical Association and collecting and filing discrimination complaints with the Department of Health Education and Welfare.  Black doctors and dentists were also civil rights leaders in their communities.  The NMA was the only professional medical organization that consistently supported passage of Medicare, testifying for it before Congress three years in a row.  The NMA continues to act to expand access to health services for all people in America, especially the low income population and people of color.

Learning Areas:

Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
Describe the role of the NMA is the passage of Medicare and its use to desegregate America’s hospitals. Describe the NMA’s current efforts to decrease disparities and move toward health equity, especially as related to Medicare and the Affordable Care Act.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Past president of the NMA and active in the organization for decades.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.