Victory for Equity! Supreme Court Upholds Affordable Care Act
PolicyLink applauds the Supreme Court for upholding the Affordable Care Act—a ruling that will have a meaningful impact on low-income communities and communities of color. People of color have been grossly overrepresented in the number of uninsured Americans, and this law will do much to change that. Now, more than seven million African Americans and nine million Latinos will benefit from the Affordable Care Act.
The law expands Medicaid coverage for poor households, providing coverage for a projected tens of millions of people throughout the nation. The law also 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. This is a huge step toward universal coverage which would mean that a person’s income level or zip code need not determine his or her access to health care.
The law also focuses on prevention, encouraging not only sick people but also healthy individuals to sign up for coverage. 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. With expanded health care coverage and programs like the Healthy Food Financing Initiative and child obesity prevention programs dedicated promoting community health and well-being, our country will become stronger, healthier, and more equitable.
This law will positively impact people across the country, especially those hit first and worst by the recession who need access to affordable care. Its potential to improve poor communities and strengthen our nation’s economy makes it an important leap forward in our struggle for equity.
–Angela Glover Blackwell, June 28, 2012