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What the Health Care Ruling Means for People of Color

Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images
Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images

ColorLines' Kai Wright says that the Affordable Care Act recognizes that a system that ignored the needs of 50 million people would have collapsed upon itself — and he points out that many of the ignored were members of ethnic minority groups.

The Supreme Court ruled this morning that President Obama's health care reform can move forward, with some complicated caveats around the expansion of Medicaid. The take home point of the ruling: The controversial "individual mandate" to buy health insurance is constitutional, because the penalty for not doing so is a tax and the feds have the power to tax you …

As of the 2010 Census, 49.9* million people were living in the United States without health coverage. People of color have long been grossly overrepresented among those millions, particularly Latinos.

Percentage of race/ethnic group uninsured in 2010

Hispanic origin — 30.7 percent

Black — 20.8 percent

Asian — 18.1 percent

White, not Hispanic — 11.7 percent

Read Kai Wright's entire piece at ColorLines.

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The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.


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