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Day of action focuses on CT undocumented's healthcare needs; 7 jurors seated in first Trump criminal trial; ND looks to ease 'upskill' obstacles for former college students; Black Maternal Health Week ends, health disparities persist.

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Seven jury members were seated in Trump's hush money case. House Speaker Johnson could lose his job over Ukraine aid. And the SCOTUS heard oral arguments in a case that could undo charges for January 6th rioters.

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Fears grow that low-income folks living in USDA housing could be forced out, North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues, and small towns are eligible for grants to boost civic participation..

Doctors' insight: Voting could improve U.S. healthcare

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Monday, January 29, 2024   

A medical report shows voting is not only good for democracy, it is also good for your health.

As stated by the American College of Physicians, voting enables people in Pennsylvania and across the country to engage with their communities, while the ballot initiatives and elected officials they choose help determine the quality of the health care system.

Dr. Omar Atiq, president of the American College of Physicians, said voters ultimately determine peoples' access to health care services and physicians' ability to treat them.

"If there is more voter participation, there will be better health care policies and therefore, better health care," Atiq contended.

Atiq pointed out research shows states with fewer barriers to voting have better health outcomes than states with restrictive voting laws or gerrymandered maps. Pennsylvania ranks in the middle among states, at 31st in the nation, for ease of access to the ballot.

As a means to increase health equity, the American College of Physicians is encouraging health care professionals and medical students to engage patients in nonpartisan discussions about voting. Atiq suggested posting voter registration information in patient waiting rooms is a good place to start.

"We are looking at talking to patients about the importance of their voice, in making sure that the national resources are allocated to where we have optimal health for everyone," Atiq emphasized.

Atiq noted despite being one of the richest and most technically advanced nations in the world, the U.S. ranks lowest in life expectancy, both for men and women, among comparable countries. He said physicians have a responsibility to help their patients when they need it, and talking about voting on issues to improve health care is part of it.

Support for this reporting was provided by The Carnegie Corporation of New York.


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