WASHINGTON – The planned House vote to repeal health care reform represents trouble for communities of color, policy experts at The Greenlining Institute said today. California, they added, deserves credit for moving swiftly to implement reforms backed by the state’s voters.
“Blacks, Latinos and Asians are most likely to be uninsured, and the small businesses in these communities need the help that the Affordable Care Act will give them to help cover their employees,” said Greenlining Institute General Counsel Samuel S. Kang. “Voters of color see moving forward with healthcare reform as a top priority, and many won’t like this push to undo a reform that’s helping them and their neighbors.”
People of color represent just under one third of the U.S. population, but over half of the uninsured. In California, people of color are slightly over half the population but 74 percent of the uninsured. Latinos and other voters of color appear to have swung several key races in favor of Democratic candidates last November.
“Rather than taking a step back, we need to keep moving forward,” said Greenlining Health Program Manager Carla Saporta. “Our communities are not going to put our health on hold because of the desire of a few. Fortunately, California is a trailblazer in implementing the Affordable Care Act, the first in the nation to act on establishing a Health Benefit Exchange that will provide affordable health insurance, one-stop insurance shopping, and greater benefits and consumer protections. California regulators and legislators have listened to their constituents, and we hope Congress and other states will do the same.”