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Millions could go without health insurance

STARLA MUHAMMAD | 2/23/2014, 6:50 a.m.

A single-payer health care system where government instead of private insurers pays health care costs would be ideal but until then the ACA and pushing for Medicaid expansion is a step toward closing disparities in health insurance, said analysts that agreed with the United for a Fair Economy report.

United for a Fair Economy hopes this year’s findings, when examined, will result in a better understanding of the ACA and the importance of Medicaid expansion.

“People in states that have opted out are going to say, ‘Oh God, I don’t have health care coverage, this Obamacare program’s a failure.’ Instead of blaming it on the fact that their state policymakers chose not to expand Medicaid they may unfortunately in some cases blame the original legislation and view it as a failure of that. Which it is not,” Miller said.

Dedrick Muhammad, senior director of the NAACP Economic Department, was one of several policy experts that reviewed and contributed feedback on this year’s State of the Dream report. Despite it being the second term of the country’s first Black president, racial inequities are still very much a reality, he said. Some of the findings show racial disenfranchisement is being further cemented into society, Muhammad added.

“This really goes to the heart of what Dr. King says; of all forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane. We agree and that’s why we wrote this report,” Miller said.