As the U.S. Supreme Court decides the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, author and political analyst Earl Ofari Hutchinson writes at the Huffington Post that those on the front lines of the American health care crisis — uninsured blacks and Latinos — are likely to face devastating repercussions if the reform law is overturned.
A report by the Commonwealth Fund found that blacks and Hispanics made up nearly half of the estimated 50 million Americans with absolutely no access to affordable or health care. The even starker reality is that the number of blacks without a prayer of obtaining health care at any price has always been wildly disproportionate to that of whites — even poor whites. It has steadily gotten worse over the years. The great fear of the GOP health care reform opponents and the health care industry lobby which includes private insurers, pharmaceuticals and major medical practitioners was that they'd have to treat millions of uninsured, unprofitable, largely unhealthy blacks. That would be a direct threat to their massive profits. This was the prime reason they waged fierce war against passage of the law.
The majority of black uninsured are far more likely than the one in four whites who are uninsured to experience problems getting treatment at a hospital or clinic. This has devastating health and public policy consequences. According to a study by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, blacks are far more likely than whites to suffer higher rates of catastrophic illness and disease, and are much less likely to obtain basic drugs, tests, preventive screenings and surgeries. They are more likely to recover slower from illness, and they die much younger.
Read Earl Ofari Hutchinson's entire piece at the Huffington Post.