Still Time to Register! Free Webinar Today @ 2 PM, Health Equity, Medicare, and the Modern Civil Rights Movement

Free Webinar
Health Equity, Medicare, and  the Modern Civil Rights Movement

Wednesday, September 8, 2:00 – 3:30 PM EDT

We invite you to join us today, Wednesday September 8 from 2-3 pm, as we explore the important role that Medicare played in the nation’s desegregation movement, continued systemic racism in our health systems, and the role that policy can still play today in combatting current health disparity issues.

While the United States is renowned for the quality of its health care, it also has a complicated history around the equitable distribution of that quality care. The Covid-19 pandemic has only highlighted the deeply-rooted health disparities and racial inequities in our nation. By some estimates, Black Americans died of Covid at 1.4 times the rate of white people.[1] Outcomes in nursing homes were just as stark. Those facilities where at least 7 in 10 of the residents were Black, had a death rate about 40% higher than homes with a majority white population.[2]

Looking at history as a guide, there is much we can learn about how to address these pressing disparity issues. We continue to see unacceptable inequities throughout the continuum of care, but we have nonetheless come a long way since our nation’s hospital and health care networks were completely segregated. During our discussion, we will examine the experiences of health care equity advocates during the civil rights movement, and dive into the lessons we might learn from those experiences, particularly the role that Medicare policy has played – and can continue to play – in righting societal wrongs that can no longer be ignored.

Dr. David Barton Smith, author of The Power to Heal: Civil Rights, Medicare, and the Struggle to Transform America’s Health System is our featured guest speaker. Dr. Smith is also an Emeritus Professor at Temple University. Among other things, his work has been cited by The New York Times as part of their 1619 Project.

Dr. Smith also assisted in developing the related PBS documentary Power to Heal: Medicare and the Civil Rights Revolution. Click here to see a trailer of the film narrated by Danny Glover.

This webinar is presented by Center for Medicare Advocacy Attorney Kata Kertesz and Chiplin Medicare & Health Policy Fellow Cinnamon St. John.

___________________[1] The COVID Tracking Project. The COVID Racial Data Tracker. (Figures as of March 7, 2021). Available at:
[2] King, S., & Jacobs, J. Near birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr., a predominantly black nursing home tries to heal after outbreak. (October 29, 2020). The Washington Post. Available at: