White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, in addition to Mayor Kevin Johnson of Sacramento, Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia, and Mayor A C Wharton Jr. of Memphis held a press conference call in an effort to emphasize how important it is for African Americans and communities of color to enroll in affordable health care. The mayors also spoke about their work to enroll the residents of Sacramento, Philadelphia, Memphis, and communities of color across the country.
Jarrett spoke about how the Affordable Care Act will have a positive impact on the nearly 6.8 million uninsured African Americans in the United States. Jarrett noted that many Americans are already benefiting from the Affordable Care Act. By the end of January, nearly 3.3 million people signed up for private plans through federal and state marketplaces.
Other key points from Jarrett’s address:
- 7.3 million African Americans now have access to more expansive preventive services without a copay.
- Starting this year more than 390,000 African American women who are purchasing coverage from the individual market will gain maternity coverage.
- 4.5 million elderly and disabled African Americans who receive health coverage from Medicare will also have access to preventive services with no cost sharing.
- Insurance companies are now prohibited from discriminating against anyone with a pre-existing condition such as cancer or asthma.
- 6 in 10 uninsured African Americans may be eligible for premium tax credits in the marketplace.
Most people will be able to receive coverage for $100 or less a month. Says Jarrett, “We are enlisting the help of mayors across the country and other trusted messengers in an effort to target the top markets where we know the uninsured live.”
Mayor Kevin Johnson took part in a video and wrote a post for the White House Blog in an effort to get the word out about enrollment. Open enrollment ends March 31.