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Scholar Says Minority Health Has Much to Gain with Affordable Care Act

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act means that many people of color will see expanded access to healthcare, including those in underserved urban communities gaining increased prevention care. In a column for, Dr. Brian D. Smedley, vice president at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, notes that under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) minorities, who are more likely to live in segregated and impoverished conditions, can expect to get help with services that reduce health risks.

Smedley writes that by “expanding access to private insurance through state health exchanges, improving access for more people who live in poverty through Medicaid expansions, and other reforms, more than 32 million uninsured Americans will gain coverage. All of these provisions would improve the current state of health care for people of color, who are disproportionately un- and under-insured and who face greater barriers than Whites to receiving high-quality care, even when insured.”

“Many other provisions of the ACA have great potential to reduce the risks that make people sick in the first place.  These provisions—particularly those that invest in prevention and improving the distribution of health care resources—can significantly improve opportunities for good health for all Americans, and particularly people of color.

Research suggests that minorities are more likely to live in segregated, impoverished communities. Expanding and funding programs like the National Health Service Corps and the Prevention and Public Health Fund will help address environmental hindrances to good health.”

For the entire commentary, please click here.

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