This excerpt is from an article written by Rishi Manchanda, MD, MPH and NPA Board Member. It was originally published in the Health Affairs Blog on June 27, 2012.
As I write this, the Supreme Court has yet to reveal its decision about the Affordable Care Act. Regardless of what they decide, we can be certain of one thing. This November, the ability of Americans to get the facts they need to make informed choices about the future of US health policy will be as important as their ability to exercise their right to vote.
But a recent spate of restrictions on voting rights in many states may make it harder for millions of eligible Americans, including people of color and lower-income voters, to cast their ballot. Without their voice, local and national debates about health policy will be less informed and less representative. And since these groups are disproportionately sicker and underserved, it is reasonable to predict that costly and preventable health disparities will persist or worsen if the voices and concerns of our most vulnerable neighbors are muted in the electoral process.
Rishi Manchanda, MD, MPH, “How Hospitals Can Help Get Out The Vote,” Health AffairsBlog, 6/27/2012, http://healthaffairs.org/blog/2012/06/27/how-hospitals-can-help-get-out-the-vote/. Copyright ©2010 Health Affairs by Project HOPE – The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.