What Obamacare Means for Blacks, Latinos and Other Communities of Color
Okay, so Obamacare is constitutional. But what impact will it have on blacks and for other communities of color?
Many of us may live longer with quality health care.
- More blacks and people of color will gain health care coverage. “A recent study shows that the Affordable Care Act could cut the eight-percentage-point Black-White differential in uninsured rates in half. The nineteen-percentage-point Hispanic-White differential in uninsured rates could be reduced by slightly less than a quarter.” These figures also depend on how heavily—and effectively—this information is spread in communities of color.
- All women will have access to affordable, prescription birth control without co-pays.
- All women will have access to preventable medical procedures and screening, including breast exams.
- More community health centers will be built in black and other communities of color. Those that are already in business may expect funding to renovate and expand their current floor space, which means that
- There will be more incentives for people of color to become doctors and nurses to serve in and to their own communities.
[...P]hysical exams, colonoscopies, vaccinations — these are among the preventive care services that will be fully covered by insurance companies.
This requirement kicked in for new health insurance plans that began on or after September 2010. Examples of preventive care include screenings for cholesterol, diabetes, HIV and sexually transmitted diseases, which are covered without a co-pay.
For women, this would also cover genetic counseling for the BRCA gene for women at higher risk of breast cancer, mammograms every one or two years for women over age 40 and HPV DNA testing every three years for women. For kids, the services include autism, vision, developmental and lead screenings.
The new law protects guaranteed Medicare benefits. It also improves and expands those benefits, such as lower out-of-pocket drug costs and free Medicare-covered preventative care benefits. Yet another benefit is improved access to primary care doctors. In addition, Medicare recipients will keep getting discounts on drugs to close a gap in coverage known as the “doughnut hole.”
Millions of young adults up to age 26 who have gained health insurance due to the law will be able to keep it. The law requires insurers to cover the children of those they insure up to age 26. About 2.5 million young adults from age 19 to 25 obtained health coverage as a result of the Affordable Care Act, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
And good news regarding pre-existing conditions.
Since the law remains in place, the requirement that insurers cover people with pre-existing medical conditions remains active.
The law also established that children under the age of 19 could no longer have limited benefits or be denied benefits because they had a pre-existing condition.
Starting in 2014, the law makes it illegal for any health insurance plan to use pre-existing conditions to exclude, limit or set unrealistic rates on coverage. It also established national high-risk pools that people with such conditions could join sooner to get health insurance.
Tucked away in the act is a pilot program for 10,000 people called the Independence At Home program. This is a technique first developed by the Veterans Administration by which a patient with a chronic disease, like Alzheimer’s, is treated in his or her own home by a team of doctors, nurse practitioners, geriatric pharmacists, and any other health professional whose specialty is required.
This is not only cost-efficient, being infinitely cheaper than hospitals and nursing homes, but it is a comfort for the patients and their families…
…. The program is the brainchild of Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), whose mother died from Alzheimer’s …. “Let’s just start with pre-existing conditions,” Markey told me on Thursday evening. “If the law had been struck down, you didn’t have those protections anymore. And we know that five million people have Alzheimer’s right now, and that 15 million are going to get it. Let’s go to bankruptcy, then. The law says that just because you got sick, you cannot go bankrupt.”
This would be wonderful for those close black, Latino and others of color families who cannot afford or cannot bear to send their elderly loved ones away to live their final months with strangers.
1) Everyone has to “buy” insurance or pay a fine.
No, you don’t. If you have insurance already, from your job or out of your own pocket, you are set. Only about 7 million people “…will have to buy insurance without the help of one of the subsidies built into the law, according to Urban Institute.”
2) People will have to buy insurance even if they can’t afford it.
[T]he law provides for subsidies for low- and middle-class people to buy health care in the new state exchanges. It’s on a sliding scale, with help available for families earning up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level, currently around $92,000 for a family of four.
Some people are also exempt from the mandate on hardship grounds. That includes people so poor that they don’t have to file taxes (income around $9,500 for individuals and $19,000 for married couples) and people who have access to health care through a job…
Over here in Wisconsin, Governor John Doe (Scott Walker) is adamantly defying the state Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen to comply, with the law, in setting up the framework of what will be Obamacare in Wisconsin. Better check with your state government as to when they plan on complying with Obamacare. If your governor is a Republican, there is going to be a stonewall.
Wisconsinites won’t be seeing effects of Supreme Court ruling any time soon.
Wisconsin is one of 26 states joining forces in a federal lawsuit over the constitutionality of the law, yet on Thursday in reaction to the ruling, State Attorney General JB Van Hollen says Walker must follow the law. “What he and the rest of the state are going to be obligated to do is to comply with the law. The law indicates that certain things have to be done within certain time frames. That has to be obliged.”
Van Hollen says some of those time frames do have liberal windows. Walker vows not to implement any of the federal health care law before the November elections, at which time he hopes a Republican president and Congress will repeal and replace the law.
Dream on, Scotty. That means that Wisconsin is going to be late for the train once again (so to speak), this time in getting its citizens quality health care. It’s not Obamacare that will be a job killer, but all those 26 GOP governors that want to stave off the inevitable. Like I said, this is the South come North. Once people read the Act and other materials (and blogs like this one) and find out what Obamacare truly can provide, they are going to want it yesterday. And the state apparatus will not be prepared because, of course, idiots like Walker are waiting on Obama to be defeated in November. (Weren’t they waiting on the Supremes to put the kibosh on Obamacare? Look where that got them. Roberts defected. They’ll never learn.)
Putting together the framework means that health administrators and clericals would have to be hired to organize, set up procedures, talk to health care officials, and otherwise put the law into motion. A state exchange, or list of health insurance companies within the state, must be set up. Citizens are not going to blame the president, or Federal bureaucracy, the favorite whipping boys. They’re going to blame those governors for obstructionism.
3) Young and healthy people must buy expensive policies they can’t afford and don’t need.
Most of those young people will be able to stay on their parents’ medical plans until they are 26. Failing that, or alternatives offered through a job, those under the age of 30 will be able to get low-cost, “catastrophic” medical insurance through state exchanges.
4) People won’t be able to keep their current insurance.
If you like your current plan, you can keep it. It’s just that simple.
5) The penalties are exorbitant. I could even get thrown in jail.
Double wrong. Nobody is going to jail.
In 2014, the penalty will be $285 per family or 1% of income, whichever is greater. By 2016, it goes up to $2,085 per family or 2.5% of income.
One point of comparison: In Massachusetts, where a state mandate (Romneycare) exists, only about 1 percent of taxpayers paid a penalty in 2009.
And people, this is not a tax, this is a penalty.
Even Mittster Romney said so once upon a time about his Romneycare, which is Obamacare spelled backwards, so why quibble over semantics? Or lie your way out of a bag?
Or etch-a-sketch yourself a new meme?
Let’s work to make it all work.
- Medicaid Expansion Under ObamaCare To Save States Billions (alan.com)
- Here’s How Much The Obamacare Penalty Tax Will Cost You… (theaveragejoenewsblogg.com)
- STUDY: Medicaid Expansion Saves States Billions (thinkprogress.org)
- Scott Walker Gets Smacked Down by the Constitution and Told to Implement Obamacare (politicususa.com)
- What the Supreme Court Ruling Means for the Health of People of Color (colorlines.com)
- Surprising Ways the New Health Care Plan Can Speed Up Your Financial Independence Day (forbes.com)
- John Boehner: Republicans won’t cover people with pre-existing conditions (dailykos.com)
- Covering the health care law’s guarantee (ajc.com)