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Black, Hispanic and Indigenous patients are less likely to get specialized health care, study says - Marketplace

About four years ago, Mae Gaines noticed her menstrual periods were off. They were heavy, and lasting sometimes for two or three weeks instead of a couple of days. 

Gaines was a massage therapist in Boise, Idaho, but couldn’t make it through one massage appointment without needing to change a tampon. 

“It was just terrible,” Gaines said. “It got so bad that I couldn’t stand up at the table for an hour because I was gushing blood so much.”  

She quit her job and, unable to keep paying for private insurance, went on Medicaid, the state-federal program that provides health coverage to very low-income people. 

Gaines thought the extreme periods were connected to a painful heaviness in her abdomen. But when she would go to doctors, she felt they didn’t listen.