Posted by | March 23, 2010 09:57 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Thomas Wellborn

GOP New Orleans Congressman Joseph Cao reversed his support for health care legislation because he sayks the Senate bill doesn’t go far enough to restrict funding for abortion insurance coverage. In an interview with New Orleans Times-Picauyne, Cao asserted the bill contained abortion services “At Par With Slavery“.

Cao’s statement was not only a searing affront to the African American community, but his vote threatened to deny his constituents much-needed health reform.

Think Progress reports:

– According to a report by the Center for American Progress, health reform makes a tremendous first step to eradicate the “medical apartheid” of health disparities faced by communities of color in America. The bill establishes  demonstration programs to promote access to Medicare beneficiaries with limited English proficiency and provides incentives to encourage a range of needed health professionals to work in primary care settings, public health services, and in areas of workforce shortage.

– New Orleans is heavily uninsured. At about 24%, Cao’s district is 10% more uninsured than the national average. A Harvard study found that nearly 45,000 people die every year because of a lack of health insurance. Health reform will provide 31 million previously uninsured Americans with coverage, while ensuring those with coverage are never denied treatment because of their health status.

– Louisiana has a high level of infant mortalities, 9.8 per 1,000 live births. Health reform includes expanded prenatal care for low income women.

– Cao’s district has high rates of obesity and diabetes. Among many provisions aimed at decreasing chronic illness and promoting health lifestyles, health reform guarantees that all insurance companies offer free preventive care.

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