WASHINGTON, DC – 1/18/2017 — In a letter to President-elect Donald Trump, the African American Health Alliance has called on him to meet jointly with all of the nation’s surgeons general. The Alliance, co-chaired by Dr. Joycelyn Elders, is a nonprofit volunteer organization that works to help further the elimination of racial and ethnic health disparities across communities of color and other vulnerable populations. Dr. Joycelyn Elders is the 15th Surgeon General of the United States.
Surgeons general serve as the “Nation’s Doctor” and have considerable knowledge and expertise concerning the American people’s health. A joint meeting of this magnitude, with all the surgeons general, would be bipartisan. This unique exchange of information and insight would be beneficial to Affordable Care Act repeal and replace discussions that are underway at the national, state, and local levels as well as those at kitchen tables across the country. Surgeons general provide, much needed, broader perspectives from the shared mission to help protect, improve and advance health.
The requested joint meeting would focus on healthcare coverage and access including the impact on the state of the American people’s health, public health, safety and national security. Emergencies in health whether local or from abroad confirm that illness, disability and premature death has no boarders from lead poisoning, to influenza to Zika, Ebola and more. While disease prevention and control are paramount to health and safety, they cannot be adequately achieved without coverage and access to quality affordable healthcare for all that is available when and where it is needed.
Providing coverage to 20 million people, the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, has and continues to fill a tremendous void in the nation’s healthcare system. The ACA has proven to be a vital component to America’s coverage and care portfolio: Medicare, Medicaid, Children Health Insurance Program, Employer Based Coverage, and most recent the Affordable Care Act. “When the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed, I entreat the new administration to correct the flaws in the ACA by replacing it with the best healthcare system in the world,” said Surgeon General Elders.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) new report, “more than 11.5 million people nationwide were signed up for Health Insurance Marketplace coverage as of December 24, 2016, an increase of 286,000 plan selections relative to the comparable period last year.” HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell has said, “Nationwide demand for health coverage is higher than ever.” AAHA is confident that the “strong and increasing demand for affordable, quality coverage” makes good health, business, economic and national security sense. Open enrollment runs from November 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017. For enrollment information, visit healthcare.gov.
As the Congress debates the ACA and takes action, it is absolutely essential that they do no harm to the health and safety of the American people and national security related thereto. The 20 million insured and those still in need of coverage are counting on Congress and President-elect Trump to do the right thing: fix the ACA, not nix it; strengthen it, not raid it; and instead, make it more affordable and accessible to all. Access to healthcare is a right. “It is time that the U.S. is ranked #1 in the world in health care,” said Surgeon General Elders.
The African American Health Alliance awaits President-elect Trump’s response to this important request. Clearly, the volume of people signing up for ACA coverage is a definite indication of their commitment to getting and staying covered. The American people’s health must not be left to chance. “We the people must not allow coverage to be taken away, said Fredette West of the Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities Coalition and a cancer survivor. Where will the take-away-list end at pre-existing health conditions, public schools, and on, and on? No ACA replacement, No repeal.” Addressing health disparities and the social determinants thereof must be included among the priorities of President-elect Trump and his team. The Alliance is committed to working with the next administration as it has with the Obama administration. [AfricanAmericanHealthAlliance.org]
Distributed by African American Health Alliance
Company Name: African American Health Alliance
Contact Person: Fredette West
Country: United States