Thousands of Black lives could be saved provided they have access to health care, according to a report released this week by the Journal of the American Medical Association.

States that expanded Medicaid health care coverage as part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act saw a decrease in disparities between Black and white infants of 7.7 percent, while non-expansion states saw an increase in disparity of 4 percent, according to the report’s researchers. The researchers analyzed birth certificate data in 18 states and the District of Columbia that had expanded Medicaid coverage to include more low-income citizens from 2014 to 2016 and compares data in 17 states that did not expand the coverage.

The report shows that Black infants are about twice as likely to be born at low birth weight and 1.5 times as likely to be born prematurely than white infants.

While studies have continued to be shared showing the disparity in healthcare between Black and white Americans, they also show how the Affordable Care Act has decreased barriers in access to care among Blacks and Latinos.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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