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Affordable Care Act Upheld

The Center for African American Health applauds the Supreme Court for upholding the Affordable Care Act—a ruling that will have a significant impact on low-income communities and communities of color. People of color have been overrepresented in the number of uninsured Americans, and this law will do much to change that. Estimates are that more than seven million African Americans and nine million Latinos will benefit from the Affordable Care Act.

 

The law promises to expand Medicaid coverage for poor households, providing coverage for tens of millions of people throughout the nation. The law includes subsidies to poor and middle-income households, and to some businesses, which will also increase the number of people covered by essential health insurance. The law also focuses on prevention, encouraging not only sick people but also healthy individuals to sign up for coverage—among the main purposes of the individual mandate. Because of the Affordable Care Act, we can expect fewer emergency room visits for chronic illnesses, and lower costs for preventable and manageable conditions like diabetes, obesity, and asthma.

While not perfect, we at the Center for African American Health believe that the Affordable Care Act moves the country in the right direction toward more universal coverage, which would mean that a person’s income level or zip code need not determine his or her access to health care. Its potential to improve poor communities and strengthen our nation’s economy makes it an important leap forward in our struggle for access and quality care for all. There have been many failed attempts to reform our health care system and to make it more inclusive of all Americans regardless of socio-economic or employment status. Unless the law is repealed by Congress, most of the major changes in the health care system will take effect on January 1, 2014. By then, states must have set up exchanges, where people who are not insured can find affordable and/or subsidized coverage. Colorado is well ahead of the game in establishing a Health Exchange.

With the signing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act by President Obama in 2010, we have come too far and made too much progress toward creating a framework for better access, quality care and equity to turn back. Forward!

Smiles all around from the board of directors of the Center
for African-American Health at the U.S. Supreme Court's
ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act on 6/28/2012.

 

 

 

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