Health care advocates across the nation are celebrating the milestone of nearly 11.7 million Americans gaining health insurance through the second open enrollment period of the Affordable Care Act. At the same time, the latest enrollment numbers from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have led some to characterize enrollment of communities of color as “lagging.” What is getting less attention is the new HHS data showing a huge reduction in the disproportionately high rates of uninsured people of color.
One aspect of the Affordable Care Act that has flown under the radar is its potential to increase employment in the health care sector for everyone, including people of color. Currently, health care employees comprise 12 percent of the labor force, making this sector the largest employer in the economy. The Affordable Care Act will only increase this share, not just because the newly insured will boost the demand for health care, but also because many who already have insurance will likely seek more preventive care than they did before.
Accelerating the Affordable Care Act’s Enrollment Momentum: 10 Recommendations for Future Enrollment Periods
Building on lessons learned during the first enrollment period, this report identifies 10 key steps that HHS and state marketplaces can take to significantly increase the number of people who enroll in health insurance during the next enrollment period.
The Affordable Care Act includes considerable funding to enable real people to improve the health of their communities—and the deadline to apply is just around the corner. The Affordable Care Act set aside more than $100 million in Community Transformation Grants that are now available for states, local governments, tribes, territories, and nonprofits to create or enhance projects that will, in HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’s words, “empower local communities with resources, information, and flexibility to help make their residents healthier.”
Two men with the same resume apply for a job. The only difference between them is that one is white and the other is black. They should have the same chance of getting that job, right?
Did you know that American Indian & Alaska Natives are 15% more likely to have heart disease as non-Hispanic whites? Learn about some of the common health disparities affecting the American Indians & Alaska Natives.
Did you know that over 4 million people in this country were born with a right to health care? Through treaties, American Indians and Alaska Natives were guaranteed the right to health care and protection from the United States government in exchange for land.
Did you know that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are 80 percent more likely to die of liver cancer compared to non-Hispanic Whites? Learn about some of the common health disparities affecting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
The budget fight is sure to heat up in the next couple of months in what seems like a never-ending battle between the President and Congress. So what’s at stake? Many lawmakers want to see large cuts to a range of health care programs—many of which reduce health disparities and provide vital services to millions of people of color. Such cuts would exact a heavy toll on the health of communities of color and only worsen racial inequities in health.
Black History Month inspires us to celebrate the rich history, achievements, and contributions of African Americans in our nation, as well as the hard work that remains to dismantle racism and achieve true racial equality. We agree with Dr. King that fighting injustice in health care is an urgent civil rights issue central to achieving our shared dream of peace, prosperity, and equality for our children. But it is clear that a focus on health care alone will not achieve health equity for African Americans.