Knowing and acting on your family health history is an important way to protect your health. Doctors use family health history to develop a more complete picture of your health and your risk factors for disease. You and your family members share genes and may also share behaviors that contribute to your health. The All of Us Research Program is a medical study that will advance the future of medicine.
The future of health begins with you. Your Family history can tell researchers a lot about medical issues that might be related to your genes. What researchers find out from studying this information could lead to better treatment and disesase prevention for all of us.All of US research project wants to bring precision medicine to every American. The goal of All of Us is to advance precision medicine. Precision medicine is health care that is based on you as an individual. It takes into account factors like where you live, what you do, and your family health history. Precision medicine’s goal is to be able to tell people the best ways to stay healthy. If someone does get sick, precision medicine may help health care teams find the treatment that will work best.
Stephen Mikita, J.D., is a Participant Representative on the Steering Committee for All of Us, a National Institutes of Health research study that aims to gather health data from 1 million Americans in order to advance precision medicine. An assistant attorney general for the state of Utah, Mikita makes time to participate in the Steering Committee in order to represent the unique concerns of those with disabilities. He took time to chat recently about his role with the project and his hopes for its ultimate impact.
How do you feel about being included in this historic project and what are your objectives in participating in this effort to build a more inclusive picture of Americans’ health?
I am one of four Participant Representative on the All of Us Steering Committee. This committee oversees all aspects of the program and helps give direction to it. I was selected from among a lot of applicants to be one of the first two—there are now a total of six Participant Representatives on the Steering Committee. I think it speaks well of the All of Us mission and commitment to include diverse Americans, and particularly those of us with disabilities, on the committee. Participants in the All of Us Research Program are treated as true partners. The focus is on capturing data and information to achieve the ambitious goals of precision medicine. One size doesn't fit all.
Last night a federal judge in Texas struck down the Affordable Care Act as unconstitutional. In this case, the legal challenge to the law was based on the fact that Congress eliminated the penalty for the individual mandate in last year’s tax bill and the Supreme Court had previously ruled that the individual mandate of the ACA was constitutional because it was an exercise of Congress’s taxing authority. With the elimination of the penalty, Republican attorneys general had challenged the law now saying that without the tax the individual mandate must fall and with it, the rest of the ACA.
Two things should be noted about this decision: first, it will almost certainly be appealed and will probably end up at the Supreme Court for a decision. Second, it will have no legal affect while these appeals go through so the ACA marketplace is still open for business. As today is the last day to enroll in many states (see yesterday’s blog for some exceptions), do not let yesterday’s court ruling deter you from enrolling in health insurance!
Financial help available for most people to get health insurance. Go to www.healthcare.gov today and #GetCovered.
Action Talking Points and Key Statistics
- Access to health insurance coverage is critical to addressing disparities in health outcomes among people with disabilities:
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