#healthcare ‘Patient Bill of Rights’ kicks in this week. Will help #minorities, who disproportionally are without health insurance.

(Detroit Free Press) Six months after it was signed into law, the Affordable Care Act of 2010 continues to spark vigorous debate, even though most Americans have yet to feel its impact. That begins to change Thursday, when many people who need health care — particularly racial and ethnic minorities, who suffer disproportionately from illness and disability — should find it easier to obtain needed services. Several important provisions of the new law will take effect that are expected to help consumers find and keep their health insurance coverage, protect their choice of doctors, and put patients in charge of their health care.

That’s why repeal and other health-reform nullification efforts, which have gained media attention recently, are so disappointing. Business and political leaders who want to block the implementation of health reform are, in effect, turning their backs on this population.

Many people of color face poorer health than white Americans from the cradle to the grave, in the form of higher rates of infant mortality, chronic disease and disability, and premature death.

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