Minorities, Seniors See Positives In Health Law; Worries Persist About Insurance Costs
African Americans are hoping new health will improve their lives, but there's "a debate about whether the coming changes will actually ease the health disparities that black Americans face," NPR reports. "Nationally, about 1 in 5 black Americans has no health insurance. That's likely to change - up to 32 million people are expected to have access to health coverage because of the new law. More poor people will be eligible for Medicaid, and funding will also be increased for community health centers."
Some in the community are questioning the law, including Dr. Claudia Fegan from Chicago's Woodlawn Health Center, a public clinic. "A past president of Physicians for a National Health Program, Fegan says she's proud of President Obama ... but she says the health measure Obama championed pains her. ... [and that] despite the plan, millions of people will still lack health insurance. And that means the system still won't be fair, she says" (Corley, 4/22).
CNN Money: Consumers are still wondering what the law means for them. "The answers aren't obvious, because the new law doesn't make a single, big, revolutionary change to achieve its goal of insuring nearly all Americans. It doesn't turn doctors into government employees, as in Britain, or create a government-run universal plan like Canada's (or, for that matter, our Medicare system). Instead, it weaves a loose safety net designed to catch people who don't get insurance at work and can't afford to buy their own, who lose their jobs, who have pre-existing conditions, or who want to create businesses and insure themselves and their workers." CNN Money includes answers to typical consumer questions (Regnier, 4/22).
The (Rochester, N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle: Some insurers and insurance brokers are saying that health reform won't mean lower premiums. "Whether the law saves lives is yet to be determined. But interviews with Rochester-region health insurers and brokers raise doubts whether, over the next few years and perhaps longer, the cost of health care here - measured in part by premiums paid by employers and families - will fall in any significant way. The bill's supporters didn't say that premium increases would end - the expectation is that the growth of increase will be slowed by 3 percent or so." Some worry that people, particularly the young, won't buy insurance and would rather pay the fine for not than purchase a large health insurance plan (Tobin, 4/22).
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.