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Health Care Reform 101: What it means for black folks, is it reparations?

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AAPolitical Slugfest

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As reported by the Joint Center, the public debate over health care reform continues, many African-Americans are concerned that the minority of voices loudly denouncing a public option might sideline the real reform their community desperately needs. From the cradle to the grave, African-Americans have poorer health outcomes: African-American infant mortality is more than double that of whites; African-American women make up 70 percent of new HIV/AIDS infections; three times as many black Americans die from diabetes as white Americans; and the life expectancy for whites is 78 years, compared with 73 years for all African-Americans and less than 70 years for African-American males. There is a correlation between health outcomes and health coverage. Black Americans are uninsured at more than 1?1/2 times the rate of white Americans. Though over 80 percent of blacks live in working families, only 53 percent of black Americans have employer-sponsored health insurance, compared with 73 percent of white Americans. Given the climate for health care reform, it's time for the African-American community to cash the check promised to us. Is this reparations? Is it that easy? Let's talk about it tonight, on the slugfest, "If you can handle the truth."

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