Ghita Worcester

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Constitutional challenge repelled, healthcare reform continues

Proponents grapple with ‘mountains of misinformation’ 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

The U.S. Health and Human Services Department (HHS) earlier this year released new data indicating that nearly four million Blacks will gain health insurance coverage by 2016 because of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which last month the U.S. Supreme Court ruled constitutional. The Supreme Court challenge did not interrupt the government’s ongoing action to put the provisions of the ACA into practice. “We at the department have never [stopped] implementing the law,” explained Health and Human Services (HHS) Intergovernmental and External Affairs Director Anton Gunn in a phone interview with MSR. Since 2010, the HHS has implemented such provisions as uninsured Americans with pre-existing health conditions gaining access to coverage, prohibitions against children being denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions, the elimination of lifetime limits and coverage of preventive health services. “But now [after the decision] we know that the American people have greater security and greater protection knowing that the Affordable Care Act is making health care more accessible and better quality for them,” said Gunn. Minneapolis barber Bernard Walters depends on MinnesotaCare, a publicly subsidized program for state residents who do not have access to other affordable healthcare coverage, because “that is the cheapest.” He has had a couple of major surgeries and gets annual check-ups. Continue Reading →

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