The Affordable Care Act, or ACA, had a huge impact on communities of color, enabling millions of the most vulnerable Americans to access quality healthcare. According to the Center for Progress, in the time before the ACA, nearly 50 million Americans lacked health insurance; more than 16 percent of these individuals were African Americans. As a result of the ACA, nearly 20 million Americans who did not have coverage now do. But, the new American Health Care Act, which is the bill that just passed the House and moves to the Senate, would cut $800 billion from Medicaid over 10 years and result in a loss of at least $40 billion in federal funding for Medicaid in Illinois, according to Chicago Women Take Action. The bill was a partisan vote — all seven Illinois Republican House representatives voted for it and the eleven Democrats voted against the bill that repeals key components of the original bill. Obama himself is speaking out.

“All the progress that we’ve made in controlling costs and improving how health care is delivered, progress that’s helped hold growth in the price of health care to the slowest rate in 50 years — all that goes away. That’s what repeal means.  It would be bad for everybody.  And the majority of Americans, even if they don’t know that they’re benefitting from Obamacare, don’t want to see these benefits and protections taken away from their families now that they have them,” former President Barack Obama said in a statement.

With that in mind, the Defender has three-part health care coverage so you’ll understand what’s at stake and what you need to do to make sure you’re prepared for the future.

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