Unless overturned by the Supreme Court, 3.8 million African Americans will have access to guaranteed health care under the Affordable Care Act, (ACA) according to estimates by the federal Department of Health and Human Service (HHS).
According to new data released by HHS the measure broadens health care access over the next four years to the estimated 3.8 million Blacks who are currently uninsured.
The research brief, entitled “The Affordable Care Act and African Americans,” reveals that currently, an estimated 5.5 million Blacks with private insurance have access to expanded preventive services with no-cost sharing. These services include well-child visits, Pap smears and mammograms for women, blood pressure and cholesterol screenings and flu shots for children and adults.
The measure also grants 410,000 African-American adults between the ages of 19 and 25, who would have been uninsured, coverage through their parent’s employer and provides elderly and disabled citizens on Medicare with an extensive amount of free preventative services.
By 2016, 3.8 million Blacks, who would otherwise be uninsured, will gain coverage. Additionally, Medicaid coverage will expand to include Americans with family incomes at or below 133 percent of the federal poverty guidelines in 2014, while individuals with higher incomes will be eligible to purchase subsidized coverage.
The law is being challenged as unconstitutional. But many believe the law’s abandonment could be a detriment to African Americans.
A Joint Center Study found that Blacks are far more likely to suffer from illnesses, diseases and premature death than other races. Additionally, a separate study conducted by Health Equity at Families USA revealed that Blacks’ quality of care is much lower than that of Whites.
The ACA was examined by the Supreme Court for three days in late March. Their final ruling will be announced in June.