1619: Not “bad blood,” but bad healthcare

Reads "1619" in large yellow numbers against a background of calm, but grey ocean.

The title of the fourth episode of 1619, “How the Bad Blood Started,” is based on the story “Bad Blood by Yaa Gyasi.

This episode is about healthcare. Going back to 1866 it introduces listeners to Rebecca Lee Crumpler who was the first Black woman to become a doctor in America, and it progresses through time from there.

It illustrates the connections between the failure of Truman’s plan for universal healthcare and systemic racism in America, the way medicare finally led to the desegregation of hospitals, and the continued failings of the American healthcare system.

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