Health a key 2020 election issue

Like many of you, I am devastated over the passing of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a remarkable person who during her long career did so much to advance people’s rights and well-being.

Not least among her contributions, Justice Ginsburg was very instrumental in helping to save the Affordable Care Act twice. Now the Trump Administration has asked the Supreme Court to strike down the entire Affordable Care Act.

Justice Ginsburg will not be on the bench when the Court will hear arguments in this latest case on Nov. 10, 2020. But a new justice might – very possibly one that will side with the Trump Administration.

In the United States, there are significant racial disparities in access to health care coverage and in health outcomes.  These disparities reflect economic gaps and barriers to accessing coverage that are a legacy of systemic racism, barriers in access to coverage for people in immigrant families, and other economic and health system inequities.

The Affordable Care Act has helped to lower the health care coverage gap and reduce disparities for Black and Hispanic people who were more likely to avoid using health care due to cost. Striking down the law would widen these gaps again.

Repeal of the Affordable Care Act would cause nearly 1 in 10 Black people, 1 in 10 Latinx people and 1 in 16 white people to lose their health care coverage. As a result, 1 in 5 Black people and nearly 1 in 3 Latinx people would be uninsured.

If the Affordable Care Act is repealed, COVID-19 will become a pre-existing condition for many Americas who become infected with, have survived or suffer related future infections.  COVID-19 continues to adversely affect people of color with high infection and death rates.

If struck down, the Affordable Care Act will need to be replaced. If upheld, the Affordable Care Act will need to be improved.

That’s why your vote is important. If you do not vote, you will miss the opportunity to elect representatives who will guide future health care legislation and policy in a direction that works well for everyone.

Not voting is giving up your voice – and your voice does matter. Your vote lets candidates know where you stand on issues that are critically important to you, your community and the nation.

Visit the UCC’s Our Faith Our Vote! Get more information, and download a FREE Our Faith Our Vote toolkit. Vote – your health and even your life depend on it.