White House Domestic Policy Advisor Melody Barnes on healtcare reform: The stakes for African Americans

Melody Barnes, White House Domestic Policy Advisory has a couple of entries worth noting in the Health Insurance Reform Debate. First, a few excerpts from an Op-Ed for AOL Black Voices:

As with so many issues, if the state of our health care system is a crisis for America, it’s a catastrophe for black America. On average, African Americans spend a higher percentage of their income on health care costs than their white counterparts. Yet despite that spending, we also suffer from higher percentages of chronic diseases such as heart disease, kidney disease and diabetes. That’s due, at least in part, to a lack of access to quality affordable care.
For too long, Washington has talked about fixing our broken health care system, only to allow the same old partisan politics and special interest lobbying to block change. But this isn’t a Democratic issue or a Republican one – it’s a moral imperative. That’s why President Obama has put forth a health insurance reform plan that borrows good ideas from both sides of the aisle, even from his opponents in both the primary and general elections.

This plan does three basic things:

*If you have insurance it will provide you more stability and security.

*If you don’t have insurance, it will provide you affordable options.

*And it will slow the unsustainable cost of health care for American families, businesses, and taxpayers.

If you don’t have insurance – and one in five African Americans don’t – the President’s plan will provide you affordable options the same way Members of Congress get them: by creating an exchange where you can leverage the purchasing power of a large group to get reasonable prices and choose the option that’s best for you and your family. If you still can’t afford coverage, we will provide you a tax credit to help.

Barnes also participated in a BET News Special called “Critical Condition: What’s at Stake In Health Care Reform.” Below you can view the discussion hosted by Jeff Johnson.


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