State, County Lawmakers Support Steps Ensuring Health Care For Persons Of Color

Jul 16, 2020

Some elected officials in mid-Michigan say persons of color are disproportionately impacted by the Trump administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reports while Black people make up less than 15 percent of Michigan’s population, they account for about 40 percent of COVID-related deaths. 

State Representative Sarah Anthony says she’s proposing bills along with her fellow House Democrats that would cap certain prescription drug co-payments and urge Congress to investigate drug shortages.

“I’m always hopeful that, you know, this won’t just be a Democratic issue, but it will be a human issue in which folks on both sides of the aisle can say, we’re going to take this seriously and protect the coverage that folks already have,” Anthony said.

Anthony says she hopes to see renewed interest in the Affordable Care Act.

That’s the Obama-era law that expanded health coverage to many previously uninsured persons of color. 

Ingham County Commissioner Derrell Slaughter says the publicly funded Ingham Health Plan has helped many previously uninsured residents.

Slaughter adds he’s open to studying how to separate health insurance from employment status.

“I think this is probably more of a state and federal issue in terms of how to look at potentially separating how we provide folks with health care,” he says.  “But it definitely sounds like something we should look at.”

Anthony and Slaughter made their comments Thursday during an online press conference hosted by the Lansing chapter of the NAACP.