In the past decade alone, 880,000 African Americans died because they did not have access to meaningful health care.
For people of color, life is, on average, shorter. Illness is more prevalent, and disability is more common. We live in a system that provides limited opportunities for communities of color to access health services, with fewer options for treatment, and with lower-quality care.
Communities of color are hit hard because of lower incomes and less ability to afford insurance and care. Patients of color also face greater health risks since they are less likely to live in communities with basic access to a healthy lifestyle—local hospitals or clinics with specialized services, parks and green spaces to exercise, and supermarkets where people can buy fresh food.
For this reason, the NAACP has teamed up with the National Urban League and the Black Leadership Forum to form a War Room in Washington, D.C., in order to push for real, meaningful reform in the days leading up to the House vote. We will be holding dozens of rallies, lobby days and press events across the nation.
What do we mean by “real” reform? Here’s what we are fighting for:
· A strong public option. This is crucial—it keeps insurance companies honest and creates competition in an otherwise monopolized market. Simply put, a strong public option is the only way to truly achieve real reform.