January 19, 2018

Archives for June 2012

First African-American Marines Honored

“Perseverance and Courage.”

That’s what it says on The Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor.

On Wednesday, around 400 of the country’s first African-American Marines were given the Congressional Gold Medal. These brave men trained in a boot camp exclusively for African-Americans, Montford Point, before going on to fight and die along their white brothers in arms.

John Boehner, House Speaker R-Ohio, presented a medal to William McDowell, who represented Montford Point and accepted it on behalf of everyone. The rest of the marines will be receiving a bronze replica in a couple days. (A REPLICA??? Weak.)

Boehner, who was visibly teary-eyed, said that the Montford Point Marines “not only helped defeat tyranny overseas, but they thoroughly discredited a poisonous philosophy deeply held and long defended by elites here at home.” I couldn’t agree more! “For a generation, this philosophy justified bigotry, racism, and segregation.”

About 20,000 Marines trained at Montford Point, which was in operation between 1942 and 1949, most of them going on to fight in World War II, Vietnam and Korea. While it’s nice that they’re getting the nation’s highest civilian honor, it’s an outrage that it has had to take this long. I can’t help but think of all the Marines who fought bravely and died, forgotten by their country. Let’s hope this is the beginning of a trend, and let’s never forget the brave men and women who fought and died to keep our country safe and free.

The African-American Care Act: How the Supreme Court ruling affects the Black population.

Health for all

Americans have traditionally been conservative in their views. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have a liberal outlook; it’s just that thinking twice and thinking hard comes naturally to them. Every decision is scrutinized minutely and dissected over brunches and dinners. So it can be said with absolute certainty that the latest Supreme Court ruling, upholding the Affordable Care Act, is the hottest item being served on dining tables all across the USA today. The narrow 5-4 victory has split opinion evenly with many debating the overall costs and the long term negative repercussions; while others contesting that it is indeed a giant leap forward to provide cheap health services.

So where does your average African American fit in all this?

What it entails

To understand, we must first grasp the nuances of this huge healthcare initiative, which will gradually take shape over the coming years. The biggest directive of the new law is the hotly contested requirement that almost all Americans should have health insurance. The thrust of the whole initiative is to provide health coverage to the more than 30 million uninsured Americans, more than a quarter of whom are black. The bill is designed to address the rising cost of healthcare through tax funded medical facilities.

Chief justice John Roberts allied with the four liberal justices in passing the resolution. The justices have voted against two of the three arguments in favor of the compulsory insurance requirement, but they agreed that the decision can be constituted as a tax. The court also had issues with the expansion of Medicaid that the law proposed, but again stated that the government could proceed with the changes, if it didn’t threaten to withhold a state’s Medicaid allotment in case they refused to implement the expansion. The whole verdict has come as a shot in the arm for the administration and is being touted as a major symbolic victory before the upcoming elections.

The republicans, all of whom voted against the bill in congress, are accusing the democratic government of using this as a base for increased taxation. This argument holds some truth as the mandatory nature of the law will hit the disposable income available to citizens, but this can largely be ignored in favor of the long term benefits that the law aims to provide.

Verdict

Recent studies have confirmed that the Affordable Care act can help in reducing the gap between uninsured whites and blacks to about half the current estimate. But the black families need to be informed and educated about the new changes to avail the benefits in their entirety. The act also promises to provide adequate resources for training more black doctors and nurses and this a positive step, as having someone from their own community in the healthcare sector can have added advantages for African Americans throughout the country. The most important change is of course the proposed increase in age of eligible children for medical benefits to 26, and blacks are going to benefit the most from it. However hard we may try to ignore it; the fact still remains that African Americans still face racism and prejudice when it comes to employment. They constitute the largest percentage of unemployed citizens in the above 20 age bracket.

Couple this with the recent downturn in economy and you can see the dilemma facing young black adults looking to get health benefits through their employers. The increase in age is definitely not the ultimate solution to the problem, but can help spread the costs over a longer period of time. Also, the increase in funding to community health centers is largely meant for the blacks and Latinos; as they constitute more than 50% of the patient inflow. The funding is aimed at overhauling the support structure around these centers and to better equip them with latest medicines and machines.

It is for everyone to see that African Americans are the single largest beneficiaries of the judgment. Even if this was meant as political gimmick to keep the black voter base intact; the core of this act is still true to its aim of providing affordable care to minorities. Regardless of the outcome in November, blacks throughout America can be assured of proper health facilities; a giant leap to provide universal care to everyone. No matter what the detractors say; the Affordable Care Act has its heart in the right place.

Romney: “We’re going to have to replace President Obama.”

Well, isn’t this a surprise? Right on the heels of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision, Mitt Romney is out saying the same things he’s been saying… how long now?

“If we want to get rid of Obamacare, we’re going to have to replace President Obama,” Romney stated speaking on Capitol Hill immediately after the decision.

So if we want to get rid of something you didn’t want us to have before, we have to do the thing you’ve been trying to get us to do all along? Makes sense.

He went on to declare that his first act as president would be to repeal the dreaded Obamacare!

“What the court did not do on its last day in session, I will do on my first day if elected president of the United States,” Romney said, “and that is I will act to repeal Obamacare.”

Well, could have we expected any less from this man, people? This is pretty much exactly in line with what we were predicted when this finally went through. I think it’s going to be really interesting to see what his team of Yes-men and campaign planners are going to pull out in the coming weeks and months as he tries wrestles for Obama’s spot.