More Than One-Third Of Black Americans Don’t Have Health Care

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Of the more than 2,100 respondents to the official NewsOne/BlackPlanet.com poll, 63% said “Yes,” they have health insurance. The rest, more than one-third, indicated that they are uninsured.

Statistics from both the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s “Cover the Uninsured” project place the number of uninsured African-Americans overall close to 20%. In any event, both Black and Hispanic Americans are disproportionately uninsured in the United States when compared with white people: more than 30% of Hispanic people are currently without health insurance, while the same is true for just 12% of whites.

All told, there are more than 45 million Americans without health insurance. Their status has been much discussed in politics lately as President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress have begun the push for health care reform. Among potential components of a health care reform bill are: a government-run “public option” to compete with private insurers; expanded availability of Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Plan (SCHIP); tax penalties for employers that don’t provide insurance; an individual mandate to purchase health insurance. Meanwhile, as Democrats have made the case for reform, the GOP has done its best to obstruct the progress of any potential health care reform bill.

Obama, who returned from vacation this week, is reportedly considering making a major speech on health care reform and in the coming weeks will look to reset the debate surrounding the issue.

Where do you stand on health care reform? Do you agree with the the Democrats’ agenda, or share Republicans’ reservations? Or do you feel you need more information before making up your mind? Tell us what you think in the comments.

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