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Thinking About Dual Special Needs Plans.

The History of Medicare and Medicaid
Medicare is a program that was created in 1965 in the United States of America to help especially vulnerable people in society who need government assisted healthcare. It was initially run by the Social Security Administration, but it was shifted to its own Center eventually. Medicare was signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson, and a symbolic move was enjoyed when Former President Harry Truman and his wife were the first people to benefit from Medicare.

Medicare is, as all things are, integral to understanding racism in America. In the United States, when you examine literally any portion of society, you can find out a little bit more about just how racist and prejudiced this country actually is. Medicare was withheld from hospitals in the 1960s unless they integrated their services so that doctors were willing to see non-white patients. There is a lot of information about this online and you can learn more by searching for it. But let us back up for a second and consider the society that rendered such an arrangement necessary.

Photo credit: PopTika.

Would you want a doctor to operate on you who was morally opposed to helping black people for their entire life up until that point? If you are a black person, you should have extreme reservations and many people did and still do. Healthcare outcomes in America are disproportionately terrible for black people, and several studies have discovered that doctors are far less likely to be helpful or useful to black patients. They simply do not see black people as full humans and are more likely to ignore black people in pain.

This has had an adverse effect in black patient outcomes. The only silver lining that exists is the fact that American doctors have historically refused to believe black people when they say they are in physical pain. Doctors think black people are either lying, deserve to be in pain or simply do not care whatsoever that African Americans are suffering. So, when American doctors began to prescribe opioids with reckless abandon in the 1990s, African-Americans were left out of this experience.

Photo credit: ICMA.

As a result, we talk about the opioid crisis in America as an epidemic and it is a drug abuse issue that is being mentally ingested by Americans as a medical issue as opposed to a criminal issue. If most folks ingesting opioids and becoming addicted were African Americans, it is highly likely that this issue would be handled punitively. This is the nature of how things are handled in America. It is a country where inequality is blatant, obvious, and nobody is doing anything about rectifying it. The presence of an African American president was utterly irrelevant in this vein.

Medicare is thus a direct channel to understanding the racist history of this country in its post-modern era since the 1960s. This makes it especially shocking that Medicare and Medicaid have slowly been expanded over the course of the last few decades under several different presidencies. Bit by bit, we have been adding different eligible groups to Medicare and Medicaid, such that we are now in a place where we need dual special needs plans for people who have access to both programs.

Considering Dual SNPs And Their Role
This represents a huge step forward for a country that has not historically given much thought to the healthcare of its citizens, especially since legal discrimination has been outlawed. It is extremely shocking that over the course of several presidencies, we are now able to enjoy dual SNPs for people who are under 65, and in many cases, are even children! We have a long way to go, but we must acknowledge that for America to come this far, someone had to consider the needs of people over profits.

Photo credit: Pixabay.

Dual SNPs are also incredibly forward thinking as there is preventative medicine integral to its implementation. For example, coverage benefits can include healthy food options at grocery stories. For a country that struggles with obesity (Americans are the fattest people in the world), support for healthy eating built into a health insurance program is a shocking advancement. Dual SNPs also provide direct prescription drug delivery for people who need it, which again is cutting out a transportation expense that the government would normally not consider.

Additionally, transportation is also covered by these programs because Dual SNPs will pay for the cost of your transport to an emergency room, urgent care facility or even a simple visit to your primary care provider. Lastly, Americans have special bones that do not normally count under typical American healthcare: our teeth. Dentistry in America is often extremely expensive and complicated, unless it falls under the auspices of public health dentistry (

Photo credit: Pixabay.

Even though our teeth are directly connected to our cardiovascular systems, American companies segregate dental care from the rest of medical care and require an entirely separate set of health insurance and assistance. This is yet another unfortunate example of profits being more important than people in the United States. However, Dual SNPs actually cover dental care without the need for an entirely different contract. This represents a huge step forward for a country that normally parses out healthcare in small parts in order to maximize profits.

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