In a guest commentary for BlackAmericaWeb, White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett says that in the two years since President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, the new law has already improved the lives of African Americans.
Since March 2009, more than 2.4 million African-American seniors with Medicare have received free preventive services such as diabetes screenings. About 410,000 more African- American young adults who would otherwise be uninsured gained coverage due to the law. In addition, 5.5 million African-Americans with private health insurance now have coverage for preventive services without paying an extra penny at their doctor's office.
And 10.4 million African-Americans with private insurance coverage no longer face lifetime limits thanks to the new health care law - in other words, your insurance company can no longer drop your coverage at a time when you need it most.
Behind each of these are statistics are stories of mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, friends and neighbors, who are healthier because of the new law. I know firsthand that the Affordable Care Act is already making a difference in people's lives. When my daughter, Laura, was between school and a new job, she was able to go on my insurance plan thanks to the new health care law.
Click here to watch the story of Vanessa Mishkit, a nurse in Tampa, Florida, who knows firsthand what it's like to go up against insurance companies on behalf of her child.
The new health care law will also make health care more accessible in the African-American communities most in need. Nearly 26 percent of patients served by community health centers in 2010 were African-American, and the Affordable Care Act increases the funding available to those centers in all 50 states. They currently serve more than 19 million patients, and by 2015, because of the health care law, they will be able to serve millions more.
Read Valerie Jarrett's entire guest commentary at BlackAmericaWeb.