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Affirming the Universal Health Care Law While Calling for More Mental Health Services in African American Communities

WHEREAS, on March 23, 2010, H.R. 3590, the NAACP-supported, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that was signed into law by President Barack Obama for a much needed overhaul of our nation's broken health care system; and

WHEREAS, prior to enactment of this law, over 50 million Americans had no health insurance; and

WHEREAS, African Americans make up almost 1/3 of the uninsured population in this country; and

WHEREAS, the current law will extend health insurance coverage to about 32 million American men, women and children who do not currently have health insurance coverage; and

WHEREAS, having access to quality, affordable health care is a civil and human right and should not be reserved for the wealthy, or the few; and

WHEREAS, many health issues are preventable and far too often African American patients enter medical facilities late in the progression of their diagnosis; and

WHEREAS, stigma and barriers to access mental health services continue to be issues in the African American community; and

WHEREAS, since enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, of the 2.5 million young adults under the age of 26 that have health coverage, 1.3 million represent communities of color; and

WHEREAS, under the new law, states are required in 2014 to establish state insurance exchanges through which residents may obtain better tailored and more cost effective health insurance; and

WHEREAS, a total of 26 states, the National Federation of Independent Business and two individual citizens filed suit against the federal departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury and Labor (and their secretaries); and

WHEREAS, the case was brought to the Supreme Court in March 2012 to remove the individual mandate to be implemented on the state level and limit the expansion plan for Medicaid to cover more patients.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP strongly supports the full implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP will advocate that the Affordable Care Act expand treatment delivery services to include mental health; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP strongly support the expansion of Medicaid to cover the "working poor" who make too much money to qualify for federally funded health coverage and not enough to purchase their own health plans; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP strongly oppose action taken by the Attorney Generals of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming who are named in the suit to block the individual mandate clause and expansion of Medicaid; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the NAACP reaffirms its 2010 resolution supporting the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act and encourages units and state conferences of these states to take immediate action with advocacy office visits, press conferences, public forums, op-ed's and other promotional initiatives to speak out against these reckless, undemocratic legal maneuvers; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that if the Supreme Court deems the individual mandate is unconstitutional, the NAACP calls for the rest of the Affordable Care Act to remain active.

Derrick Lewis - Youth & College Hero

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