Washington, D.C. — Since the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have been scrambling to fill her seat with a conservative justice who will side with them in repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). They’ve nominated Amy Coney Barrett, who has a well-documented record of suggesting the ACA should be overturned.
Repealing the ACA would be disastrous for people of color, who are disproportionately suffering worse health and economic outcomes from the coronavirus pandemic, finds a new column from the Center for American Progress. Prior to the enactment of the ACA, people of color were disproportionately uninsured at high rates. If the ACA is repealed, more than 4 million Hispanic people, more than 3 million Black people, more than 1 million Asian/Pacific Islanders, and nearly half a million American Indian/Alaska Natives would lose coverage.
CAP also estimates that about 54 million people of color currently have a preexisting condition, although that number is likely to increase due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If the ACA is repealed, these conditions could lead to them being charged more, having benefits excluded, or being denied access to coverage in the individual market for health insurance.
“Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination will be disastrous for people of color,” said Danyelle Solomon, vice president of Race and Ethnicity Policy at CAP and co-author of the column. “It’s unimaginably cruel to take away people’s health insurance during a deadly pandemic. People of color have been disproportionately harmed by the coronavirus, and Barrett’s confirmation would likely mean they will lose access to health care at the time when they need it. What we need is to build on the ACA to ensure people of color have health care coverage and access to quality care.”
Read: “A Barrett Confirmation Would Be Disastrous for the Health of Communities of Color During COVID-19” by Danyelle Solomon and Richard Figueroa