Health Care Repeal Would Hurt Black Community
(Seattle Medium) — On Tuesday, President Obama outlined his vision for how the United States can win the future through investments and reforms that will give every family and business the chance to thrive. Effectively implementing the Affordable Care Act is a vital part of this effort. But some in Congress want to refight the political battles of the past two years and repeal the law along with all the new consumer protections and benefits that go with it. That would be a major setback for the African-American community. Up to 1 in 5 African Americans lack health insurance, one of the highest rates for any group. This, more than any other demographic or economic barrier, negatively impacts the quality of healthcare received by African Americans. The Affordable Care Act gives African-Americans more freedom to get the care they need by extending overage to 32 million previous uninsured Americans. There are also new protections for the nearly half of all African-Americans who have a disability or chronic disease, making them vulnerable to discrimination by insurance companies. Under the law, insurers may not turn away children with pre-existing conditions, a protection that will extend to all individuals with pre-existing conditions starting in 2014. Repeal would put millions of African-Americans with health conditions right back at the mercy of their insurance companies. The law is also helping African-Americans get care by bringing more doctors and nurses to chronically underserved communities. Repeal would take away these investments, including billions of dollars for Community Health Centers, a quarter of whose patients are African-American, and new funds for training and placing thousands of new primary care providers in the neighborhoods where they are needed most.