142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

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Detrimental Effect on Low-Income African-Americans from Refusing to Accept the Medicaid Expansion Under the ACA

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 : 3:30 PM - 3:50 PM

Anthony Adewumi , School of Law, Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law at the University of Memphis, Memphis, TN
From the Jim Crow laws to the Civil Rights Act, American history has proven that where you live affects your well-being.  In 2010, President Barack Obama signed into law a historical Act that changed the dynamics of healthcare in America. This paper focuses on the discriminatory impact of decisions by states, especially those in the South, to refuse to accept the Medicaid expansion under the  ACA.  This paper argues that these states’ decision, specifically for purposes herein, the states of Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee, to refuse Medicaid expansion pursuant to the ACA is a form of de facto discrimination. 

            First, the paper provides a brief background on Medicaid and discusses the Supreme Court’s decision in the case ofNational Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, which ruled on the constitutionality of the Medicaid expansion under the ACA (The Court held that it was unconstitutional to mandate states to expand Medicaid).  Next, the paper analyzes statistical data from each of the four states to show how low-income African-Americans are disproportionately affected by these states’ refusal to accept the Medicaid expansion.  Then the paper draws comparisons between racial discrimination against African-Americans in Medicaid treatment and racial discrimination against African-Americans in other civil rights issues and calls for a future civil rights movement in health care for low-income African-Americans.  Lastly, the paper envisions what the lack of Medicaid expansion means for low-income African-Americans in the future and the detrimental affect it will have on African-American communities.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Discuss how the refusal of states to accept the Medicaid expansion under the ACA has potential discriminatory impacts against low-income African-Americans.

Keyword(s): Affordable Care Act, Low-Income

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a current third year law student with an interest in health law. I have a B.S. in biology. My father is a physician and member of the APHA. During my time in law school, I have taken multiple health law related classes, I am an articles editor for the school's Mental Health Law & Policy Journal and currently participating in a case competition with the school of Public Health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.