National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) President and CEO Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., National Action Network (NAN) founder Rev. Al Sharpton, Julianne Malveaux, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), National Coalition of 100 Black Women and the Black Women’s Health Imperative are up in arms because they say too many Washington politicians are protecting insurance company profits over health care for African Americans.
Collectively, they argue that too often, insurance companies refuse to cover emergency services, and either patients are forced to pay bills they cannot afford, or hospitals are shuttering.
Congress claims to be tackling this challenge, but until the Congressional Black Caucus got involved, Congress focused only on protecting insurer profits, not people, according to the coalition.
Chavis, Sharpton and others are throwing their support behind the CBC.
They’re asking that others also support the CBC.
Led by Chair Karen Bass (D-Calif.), the 55-member CBC has worked almost nonstop in fighting for health equity in the African American community.
The CBC works to protect and expand voting rights, comprehensive criminal justice reform, building a more inclusive economy, and ensuring access to quality and affordable healthcare.
A primary focus of the CBC remains to target insurance companies that have disproportionately neglected the needs of African Americans while also providing below standard care.
“This outrageous situation benefits one group and one group alone: powerful insurance executives, who have managed to get off the financial hook for such bills, even as insurers shrink insurance coverage networks to wring more and more profits out of the system,” Chavis said.
He and the other leaders have continued to express strong opposition to any legislation that would give insurers more control over health care prices.
In their continued push for health equality, the group is working to ensure that insurance companies expand their networks and cover more emergency services. This will maintain access to care in hard-hit Black communities.
“The status quo means hospitals in our communities close first,” the group noted in a statement. “We cannot let this happen. Together, we can ensure that the old way of doing business — putting insurance company profits over people — STOPS.
“Join us and support the CBC,” they wrote. “Help us work to make sure Congress passes a bill that keeps us healthy and alive by allowing insurance networks to grow and cover lifesaving services.”