How Will Obama's Healthcare Plan Affect Black Men?

President Obama's healthcare plan is designed for all Americans. However, African American citizens, especially men, have a huge stake in the passage of this bill known as the Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009.

An estimated 7.7 million African Americans are uninsured. African American men have the worse health care record of any group in America.

According to the Foundation for Health Coverage Education, a quarter of African American men lack health insurance. Over 21 percent of African American men over the age of 18 do not have a regular source of medical care.

An organization that has been trying to make a difference is Project Brotherhood (PB). It is a nonprofit medical clinic, located on Chicago's Southside that provides a full-range of healthcare services to African American men, such as blood pressure, prostate, and colon cancer screening. The services are made available regardless of their ability to pay.

According to PB, "From the time he is born until he dies, Black males have a shorter life span than their White counterparts and the lowest life expectancy of nearly all racial groups in the United States. African American men have higher rates of hypertension, cancer, diabetes, stroke, and cardiovascular disease, than white men."

The cause for such disparities varies widely, including discrimination, poverty and a higher than average unemployment rate. Since the majority of people who have health care obtain coverage through their employers, Black men are at a particular disadvantage since their unemployment rate is typically higher than for other groups. Obama's healthcare plan not only proposes a government-sponsored option that is less expensive, but it also will provide universal health care for nearly all Americans.

Obama's healthcare plan is intended to operate in conjunction with private health care plans and other medical care options, such as Project Brotherhood. One of the primary benefits of the government's medical plan is the possibility that private health providers may be compelled to offer more competitive medical care in the areas of treatment, management, price and service.

Jimmy W. is 50 years old. A couple of years before losing his job, Jimmy noticed a shortness of breath while carrying out routine activities. The condition became even more pronounced when he worked out, so he made an appointment to visit his doctor.

After a series of tests, he was eventually diagnosed with a genetic heart abnormality. During the course of testing, doctors also surgically discovered a benign cyst on his liver, which was eventually surgically removed.

Today, he still takes regular medications for the heart condition that landed him in the hospital for ten days. He has since lost his job and insurance coverage and his unemployment benefits are scheduled to run out in several months.

He is a strong advocate of Obama

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John B. Landers is a writer for ; Regal Black Mens Magazine The publication focuses on ; African American Community News Politics Sports Health Visit to read about ; Obama

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