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Thursday, February 14, 2013

4 Reasons Why Black People Should Love (or Hate) Obamacare

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The Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) provides a significant amount of benefits for African Americans, both now and in the future. Here are just four of some of the health care changes that will benefit African-Americans in the U.S.:

Reason #1: Covering Preventative Services - preventative health care services such as blood pressure checks and screenings for cancer and diabetes are included as preventative care. This means patients will not be charged any deductibles or co-pays. There is no cost for these services. This is important as African Americans are more likely to develop and die from cancer than any other racial or ethnic group. About 5.5 million African Americans now have health insurance that pays for preventative services.

Reason #2: No More Limits on Health Benefits - the law restricts annual and lifetime limitations by insurance companies and in 2014 will ban these restrictions altogether. It is estimated that this change affects 10.4 million African Americans.

Reason #3: Expansion of Medicaid Program - Medicaid will be expanded to cover families of four with incomes up to $29,000. The Medicaid expansion, along with the choice of affordable health care plans and eligible credits will make health care affordable for up to 6.8 million African Americans.

Reason #4: More Funding for Community Health Centers - African Americans represented 26 percent of the patients who used community health centers in 2010. The Affordable Care Act will increase funding for over 1,100 community health centers across the U.S. which will enable them to serve 40 million patients by 2015, a significant increase from the current 19 million.

These are just a few of the many benefits under the new health care reform act that will help reduce racial and ethnic inequalities in health care services.

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