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
Local

Winning $7 million New York lottery ticket sold…

The only $7 million winning New York Lottery ticket for Monday's Cash4Life drawing was sold at a Queens 7-Eleven, officials said on Tuesday.

Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Movies

Review: 'Child of God' finds director James Franco…

James Franco's 11th directed feature is a noble but sloppy adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's "Child of God," about a feral mountain man (Scott Haze).

Movies

Review: Alex Gibney's Fela Kuti doc 'Finding Fela'…

Prolific documentarian Alex Gibney takes on Afrobeat god Fela Kuti in "Finding Fela," but fails to capture his unique essence.

Gossip

Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…

Music

Incubus singer Brandon Boyd on his newest act,…

The rocker is releasing two new passion projects.

College

Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

Career

What do you wear to a career fair?…

Getting that gig starts with presenting the most polished and memorable version of yourself, so refer to our expert fashion advice.

Style

Editors pick: Margiela's finger armor ring

These cool rings from Maison Martin Margiela are designed to overlap over the finger, covering each joint like armor.

Style

Givenchy champions diversity

Riccardo Tisci's uses a variety of ethnically diverse ladies for his spring campaign including Erykah Badu.

Wellbeing

Don't settle for the hotel fitness center with…

Travelers who want to skip the hotel fitness center in favor of local gyms that may offer better equipment, classes and amenities can turn to…