Today's decision by the Supreme Court is a shot in the arm for Americans -- especially those who need healthcare coverage the most and are least able to afford it.
The Supreme Court's decision in King v. Burwell will continue to make health care affordable for historically underrepresented Americans. But we have a long way to go:
- Nearly one out of every four Latinos, or 24.3 percent, has no health insurance at all.
- The uninsured rate for African Americans is 15.9 percent, compared with 9.8 percent for whites.
- The uninsured rate for unmarried women is 16.9 percent, compared with 11 percent for married women.
Let's not forget that, before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was enacted in 2009, members of the "Rising American Electorate" (African Americans, Latinos, unmarried women and millennials) were facing a serious healthcare crisis. Too many RAE members lacked insurance or were saddled with exorbitant coverage costs. In addition, there was no national prohibition on health insurers discriminating based on gender, race or age. And insurers routinely denied coverage for Americans with preexisting health conditions, or to women who need contraception. The ACA changed all that.
While far from perfect, Obamacare has helped millions of previously uninsured Americans. HHS reports that, as of May 2015, a total of 16.4 million uninsured individuals have gained coverage as a result of the ACA, reducing the overall uninsured rate from 20.3 percent to:
- Among women, an additional 7.7 million adults gained.
- Among African Americans, an additional 2.3 million adults signed.
- And among Latinos, an additional 4.2 million adults got insurance.
Six or seven out of every 10 unmarried women, young voters and African Americans and Latinos strongly support the ACA today, according to recent polling we conducted with Democracy Corps. With the 2016 elections nearing, we need more rulings, and policies, that will increase coverage for these Americans and not make it harder and more expensive for them to obtain medical insurance."