by Frederick H. Lowe -The North Star News
Rainbow PUSH Coalition and University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System on Saturday, March 8, will register people for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act so they won’t miss the fast-approaching deadline.
The registration, which will take place between 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at Rainbow PUSH headquarters, 930 E. 55th Street in Chicago, is part of a stepped-up effort to register African Americans for the Affordable Care Act, before the March 31 deadline.
If individuals don’t register before the deadline, the federal government will fine them through their 2014 income taxes.
The law expands the options for affordable coverage and provides financial assistance for those who qualify, said Dr. Robert Winn, associate vice president for community-based practice at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System.
Winn oversees operation of Mile Square Health Center, a state-of-the-art, flagship facility on Chicago’s West Side.
The facility addresses health disparities. Winn noted that African Americans suffer from high rates of cervical, breast and prostate cancer, asthma and cardiovascular disease.
Black men also suffer from premature death and stroke as a result of health disparities.
Dr. Winn, a lung cancer expert, will speak with Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., founder of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, at the event. Winn will discuss the Affordable Care Act on Rev. Jackson’s radio show.
But as of October 1, 2013, the first day of open enrollment of the Affordable Care Act, an estimated 6.8 million African Americans lacked health insurance, and 56 percent, or 3.8 million, were black men.
The University of Illinois Health’s Get Insured program offers assistance in helping individuals sign up for the Affordable Care Act. Specially-trained application counselors will be on hand to help individuals navigate Affordable Care Act website.
The UI Health Get Insured outreach program will also sign up individuals on March 28 at Today’s Black Woman Expo at Chicago’s McCormick Place, 2301 S. Lake Shore Drive.