The news that three in five Southern blacks are afraid of losing their jobs underscores the importance of today’s health care summit in the White House, orchestrated by Domestic Policy Director Melody Barnes.
The greatest threat to America’s fiscal health is the skyrocketing cost of health care, said President Obama in his opening remarks.
For African-Americans, the prospect of increased numbers of uninsured threatens to heighten already high disparities in health outcomes.
However, the new investments and the prospect of reform offers the chance for economic development to the extent we take a proactive approach to designing the next health care system.
Already, 30,000 Americans have gathered in community meetings to help with that design. African-Americans must seize the chance to be involved. The strategies outlined in the State of the Black Union and its books as well as the extensive research available from historically-black colleges of medicine at King-Drew, Meharry, Morehouse and Howard and the HHS’ Center for Reducing Health Disparities give a wide array of topics to cover.
“We need a process that is as transparent and inclusive as possible,” said the President. No one needs to be involved more than African-Americans.