Home » Affordable Care Act anniversary marks gains for insured Black Americans

Affordable Care Act anniversary marks gains for insured Black Americans

by The Grio

Thirteen years ago this week, President Barack Obama signed into law the Affordable Care Act, opening up new pathways to quality and affordable health care for millions of Americans.

During a White House ceremony commemorating the anniversary on Thursday, President Joe Biden called the signing of ACA an “extraordinary achievement” of Obama’s. 

“While the Affordable Care Act has been called a lot of things, Obamacare is the most fitting description,” said Biden. 

When the law was signed in 2010, then-Vice President Biden infamously said to Obama on a hot mic that it was a “big f—ing deal.” Referencing the viral moment, the president added, “I stand by the fact that it was a big deal.”

The landmark legislation has steadily reduced the number of uninsured Black Americans over the years. The Department of Health and Human Services said in a report last year that the uninsured rate among Black Americans has decreased 40% since the ACA was implemented.

Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, the administrator of the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services in the Biden administration, told theGrio that the number of Black Americans enrolled in the ACA this year is about the same as last year, which experienced a record increase of 35%.

“The Biden-Harris administration has made such a priority to make sure we have outreach across the country and are really working with trusted partners and that’s why we’ve seen a real increase in people of color, communities of color enrolling,” said Brooks-LaSure.

Brian Smedley, a senior fellow and equity scholar at the Urban Institute, pointed out that the Affordable Care Act also includes civil rights provisions for patients of color who historically experienced inequitable care in America’s health care system. 

He told theGrio, “There were provisions related to health care quality, trying to advance equity and then, importantly,…

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