Mayor Nutter speaks on Obamacare issues for African-American community

michael nutter
Mayor Michael Nutter.
Credit: Rikard Larma / Metro.

Mayor Michael Nutter joined the mayors of Sacramento, Memphis, and White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett in a telephone press conference Friday to discuss efforts within those city’s at getting members of the African-American community on health insurance through the government exchange.

“The Affordable Care Act clearly is doing something quite incredible — it’s ensuring that millions of uninsured Americans have access to health care,” Mayor Nutter said. “Right here in our great city that means more than 210,000 uninsured people will be able to buy affordable healthcare plans. … Across Pennsylvania, that’s more than a million.”

Nutter said that he has worked with city departments, city council members, and Enroll America to bolster the city’s efforts to encourage citizens to sign up for healthcare on the government exchanges and to provide information about the new law.

“The Affordable Care Act is a very complex law and so you need accurate and readily available information,” Nutter said.

Nutter also noted that healthcare is particularly important for African Americans as the city health department has found that half of Philadelphia’s African Americans have hypertension or high blood pressure. Meanwhile, individuals of all races have increasing rates of conditions like diabetes and asthma, he said.

Nutter acknowledged that under Gov. Tom Corbett’s plan “Healthy Pennsylvania,” Medicaid funding will not be as expansive as called for under Obamacare.

“90,000 people in our city will not be able to take advantage of the ACA without expanded Medicaid,” Nutter said.

When asked whether the African American community has been resistant to signing up for Obamacare, Nutter was critical of partisan opposition and media coverage as making citizens more wary of Obamacare.

“You can’t deny the impact of the intensity of the vitriol in the debate around moving toward the ACA, all the politics and strategy and tactics that were utilized — talking heads on TV, the 24/7 news cycle, the inane at times debates in Congress, the 40-plus attempts to repeal the act, the lack of expansion in some of the states and the confusing array of information that’s out there,” Nutter said. “How you fight against people getting affordable health care, I’ve never understood that, but apparently some people engage in those kinds of tactics.”

Nutter said that these factors make informing the general public about Obamacare even more important.

“The general public — they have real lives and real problems. They don’t have as much time to sit around for esoteric debates around these issues,” Nutter said. “We’re going to use every opportunity and every partner to get this information out there.”

This press conference included the perspective of Mayor AC Wharton of Memphis, Tennessee, who said that the city has one hospital with an office where patients who lack health insurance can be assisted in signing up for a government exchange.

Jarrett claimed that under the Obamacare law, 390,000 African American women will gain maternity coverage, 4.5 million elderly African Americans will have increased access to health-care services, and 10.4 million African Americans will no longer have lifetime limits on their healthcare.

Jarrett said 6 of 10 African Americans will be eligible for premium tax credits to assist in paying for insurance. She also noted that Obamacare also forbids insurers from denying a client insurance based on a “preexisting condition.”

“In some cases, just being a woman was considered a preexisting condition,” Jarrett said during the conference.

In terms of outreach, celebrities such as Pharell Williams are reaching out to their fans on social media to inform them about Obamacare, Jarrett said.

Open enrollment into government health-care exchanges will end March 31. At that point, the uninsured will be subject to a new tax, and enrollment in the government exchanges will not again be available until October.

Follow Sam Newhouse on Twitter at @scnewhouse.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…