How Attacks on the Affordable Care Act Hurt Black Women

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit struck down the mandatory coverage requirement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) this week, leaving a lower court to decide if the rest of the landmark legislation can remain without the requirement.

The court’s decision will cripple, if not kill, the ACA—and with the stroke of a pen, the court has paved the way for the Trump administration to make it harder for millions of people to get health insurance coverage.

(Molly Adams)

This constant attack by the Trump Administration on the one law that allows those with pre-existing conditions to retain health care should concern us all. We know that before the passage of the ACA, people of color accounted for 54 percent of the uninsured in the United States, even though they only made up 35 percent of the population. Black women and other women of color, who already face systemic barriers to accessing health care, were disproportionately impacted.

The consistent chipping away at the law by conservative lawmakers and judges means those families could mean a return to millions of women losing the ability to properly care for the health of their families. 

The Trump administration and their cohorts are hell-bent on destroying the ACA and protecting the insurance industry profiteers. In Our Own Voice is calling on Congress to strengthen and improve access to health care for all people—of all races, genders and economic means—and we encourage voters to join us in demanding that elected leaders stop playing partisan political games with our health and rights.


Marcela Howell is the founder and president of In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda and the former senior policy and communications consultant for Communications Consortium Media Center and vice president of policy, communications and marketing at Advocates for Youth. She has a master's in literature from Saint Louis University and a J.D. from Pepperdine School of Law. You can follow Marcela on Twitter at @BlackWomensRJ.