How Does Obamacare Impact Women of Color and People in Prison?

My latest post on Bitchmedia looks at the intersections of race, gender and incarceration when examining the impact of the Affordable Care Act:

When Mercedes Smith (above) first came home from prison, she was able to sign up for Medicaid. Then she got a part-time job, which pushed her over Medicaid's low-income guidelines. Unable to afford insurance even after getting a second part-time job, Mercedes has gone without health care for the past three years. When she needs urgent care, she goes to the emergency room. Otherwise, health care is a luxury she can't afford.

Mercedes is not the only person in this Catch 22 situation. According to a new report by the Center for American Progress (PDF), women of color account for more than half of uninsured women in the United States. Mercedes, who is African-American, is part of the one in four African-American women who are uninsured. One in four Asian-American women are also uninsured and more than one-in-three Latinas also lack health care coverage.

How will the Affordable Care Act (ACA) change this? The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services predicts that more than 8.5 million women of color will gain the ability to access affordable or subsidized health care through the Health Insurance Marketplace, including 4.6 million Latinas, three million African-Americans, and 970,000 Asian-Americans.

Read the rest at