How Race Impacts the Healthcare Debate

In a study published in the American Journal of Political Science, Michael Tesler, an assistant professor of political science at Brown University, finds that opposition to healthcare reform may be based on more on race than on policy.

Dr. Tesler found that African Americans have become increasing supportive of healthcare reform since President Obama took office. He also found policy differences among Whites that correlated with their views of racial issues.

Professor Tesler presented groups of Whites with identical healthcare reform proposals. One group was told that the plan was offered by President Clinton while the other group was told it was a plan proposed by President Obama. Whites with liberal attitudes on racial issues were more likely to support healthcare reform if they were told the plan was Obama’s. But Whites with more conservative racial views were more likely to support the plan if they believed Bill Clinton proposed the reforms.

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  1. Ronald B. Saunders says:

    Good healthcare in the United States of America is predicated on whom you know and how deep your pockets are. Isn’t this the American way?
    White privilege is still a basic fact of life for every member of the dominant culture and the US ranks 93rd in the world in income inequality. The countries of China, India and Iran rank higher than the US in income equality.
    The single payer healthcare system would have benefited more low, and middle income Americans.
    All of the structural systemic barriers are deeply embedded in all the institutions in the US and nothing has changed at all since Obama was elected President of the United States of America.
    America is just as racist today as it was in February 2009.
    As a matter of fact, the income/wealth gap between Afro-Americans and whites has significantly widened in the last three years.
    Afro-Americans are at the bottom of all economic indicators except for the fueling of a consistent steady supply of intelligent Black men and women for the sole benefit of the Prison-Industrial-Complex.

    • I love your work and newsletter. We as black folks must stop blaming everything on racism.

      I grew up black on the South side of Chicago and had become a CPA and earned an MBA from Northwestern University by age 26. No white man ever stopped me from going to the library and studying. As a matter of fact,most of the people who helped me were white. Neither of my parents went beyond high school.

      We must emulate Asians and Jews and come up with a game plan, keep our families intact and STUDY HARDER. Racism is nowhere near where it was even 20 years ago. Don’t have a victim mindset.

      • Ronald B. Saunders says:

        Mr. Matthews: Are you responding to my comments? Do you know who I am before I respond to you?
        Are you a race scholar or a CPA?
        Twenty years ago would have been 1992.

        Before I draw any type of conclusion or inference about the degree of systemic racism in the USA It would be helpful for you to provide me with the following information:

        1. The number of Black CPA’s and accountants in 1992 vs. 2012?

        2. The number of Black engineers in 1992 vs. the number in 2012?

        2. The number of Black CEO’s in 1992 of the major Fortune 500 corporations vs. the number in 2012?

        3. The number of Blacks who fit into the EEO category as Officials and Managers in 1992 vs. said number in 2012?

        4. The number of Black owned businesses in 1992 vs. the number of in 2012?

        5. The number of Black Lawyers in 1992 vs. the present number of Black Lawyers?
        A. Has the rate of Black first year law school students increased or decreased since the United States Supreme Court ruled in the Hopwood vs the University of Texas Law School case?

        6. The number of Black computer programmers in 1992 vs the present number?
        A. What was the percentage of Black systems engineers in 1992 vs 2012 and Software Engineers?

        7. The number of Black doctors in 1992 vs the number of Black doctors in 2012.

        8. The number of Blacks in the EEO Category identified as Professionals in 1992 vs the present numbers?

        9. What was the percentage of Black school teachers in grades K-12 in 1992 vs the present percentage of Black schools teachers? Please give a gender breakdown.

        10. What was the percentage of Black faculty members on college campuses in 1992 vs the present numbers in 2012?
        A. Not HBCU’s

        11. What was the percentage of Black staff members on college campuses in 1992 vs. the present number?
        B.Not HBCU’s

        12. How many Black College Presidents did we have on majority white college campuses in 1992 vs the number in 2012?

        13. How many Black electricians did we have in 1992 vs the number now?

        14. How many Black carpenters did we have in 1992 vs 2012?

        15. How many Black skilled tradesmen’s did we have in 1992 vs 2012?

        16. How many Black commercial airline pilots did we have in 1992 vs. 2012?

        17. How many Blacks have won Pulitzer prizes in 1992 vs. 2012?

        18. How many American Blacks won Nobel prizes in 1992 vs. 2012?

        19. What was the percentage of Black unemployment in 1992 vs April 2012?

        A. What was the percentage of Black Youth Unemployment 16-24 in 1992 vs 2012?

        B. What was the rate of Black poverty in 1992 vs said rate in 2012?

        C. What was the percentage of Black underemployment in 1992 vs. 2012?

        This is just a rough sampling of various occupations and other social constructs but as you know their are many more.

        Mr. Matthews if you cannot provide me with some semblance of evidentiary proof to substantiate your great conclusion that the degree of racism has lessened in the last 20 years, why are you making such an assertion?
        You win arguments with facts and statement of facts. You don’t win arguments with assertions, assumptions or opinions.

        Here are a few facts that you should be aware of which are as follows:
        The following the financial trajectories of the same cohort of families between 1984 to 2007:

        *1. The wealth gap between whites and African Americans increased more than 4 times from, 20,000 to 95,000.
        A. Source cited: The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis, University. May 2010

        2. Middle-income white households had greater gains in financial assets than high income African Americans; by 2007 they had accumulated $74,000 whereas the average high income African American family owned only $18,000.
        B. Source cited: The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University. May 2010

        3. In 2007, one in ten African-Americans owed at least $ 3,600, almost doubling their burden since 1984.
        C. Source Cited: Brandeis University,Research and Policy Brief Report, dated May 2010.

        4. At least 25% of African American families had no assets at all to turn in times of economic hardships.
        D. Source cited: Brandeis Report, May 2010.
        Mr. Matthews I will give you some excerpts from what the experts at Brandeis concluded in said report.
        “At the same time, evidence from multiple sources demonstrates the powerful role of persistent discrimination in housing, credit, and labor markets.”
        ” African Americans and Hispanics were at least twice as likely to receive high cost home mortgages as whites with similar incomes. The reckless high cost loans unnecessarily impeded wealth building in minority communities and triggered the foreclosure crisis that is wiping out the largest source of wealth for minorities.” ” For African-Americans, the data shows that income equality doesn’t lead to racial wealth equality.”
        Mr. Matthews, as you can see by all accords you lost that argument. There is more racism today than 20 years ago. I would have to agree with you that there is more undercover racism today than in 1992, which manifests in various forms in all our institutions.
        Also note the Desegregation Report from Harvard and UCLA which states our public schools are more racially segregated today than in 1992.
        * Please note that the number of Blacks in any given specific occupational category doesn’t mean that the systemic structural barriers have been removed.

        Do you know the difference between racism, bigotry, hatred, prejudice, discrimination and disparate treatment? Can you differentiate between adverse affect and disparate impact?

        Telling the truth about American individual racism and institutional racism is not having a victim mindset.
        Have you been involved in the on-going struggle for Black Liberation?
        Are you familiar with the great scholarship of W.E.B Du Bois who I consider the greatest scholar of the 20th Century?
        Mr. Matthews, I have a habit and pattern of giving very detailed responses and I will respond to you later.
        I commend you for your academic achievement and I also have had many good friends who hail from the South side and West side of Chicago.
        I have had friends who were El Rukins, or Blackstone Rangers, Blackstone Nation, Egyptian Cobras, Vice Lords, King Cobras, and Original Gangsters.

        My great grandfather William Henry Levander Wolfe who was an enslaved African was born in 1857 and he graduated from Old Biddle University which is now Johnson C. Smith.
        We have had heads of State, Rhodes Scholars, Phi Beta Kappa’s, Marshal Scholars, Walter Ridley Scholars, Merit Scholars, Baker Scholars, MIT Scholars, and many MBAs from Harvard to name a few in our family tree.

        The Rhodes Scholar, my cousin Monroe was on the staff of US Senator Joe Biden, and he served as his expert on East Asian Affairs. He has taught Chinese and Mandarin to Chinese in the USA and in Taiwan.

        Another first cousin graduated from the ultra conservative University of Chicago School of Law, with honors and who now runs his own successful Real Estate Investment Company outside of Atlanta GA. My other cousin owns four Wendy’s eateries in the state of Ohio and they are largest producers in the state of Ohio. He has been written up often in the Wendy’s corporate magazine.
        He is running his own Wendy’s because Wendy’s passed over him for a senior VP position although he was far more qualified than the white who received the promotion. Wendy’s thought that by passing him that would force him into a state of panic but he got his hat and now owns his own Wendy’s franchises. His sister who is my cousin runs her own successful maid service business in Chicago, Illinois.

        My late aunt’s Emma’s son Ernie graduated from Yale Law School and you know that Yale was ranked the number one law school in the country for the fifth straight year over Stanford and Harvard.

        My dad worked for the FBI during World War II above the level of a Special Agent and I do not have to flaunt my academic credentials to you but they don’t take a back seat to Northwestern.

        My dad was the second person of color to receive the highly coveted American Legion Honor School Award in 1925 while attending the Watt Street school. He made a double in the third grade and never made less than an A in grades 1-8. The Watt Street school is now Robert L. Vann and that is the school that my brother and I attended.
        My dad was one of the first Afro-Americans in the USA to be a Master in the Martial Arts, and he was drafted into the FBI. Both of his brothers Billy and Russell fought in World War II in combat in Germany.

        If you would have read my blog site you would have seen the letters from my dad to the famous crime fighter Eliot Ness and the responses.

        My brother was assigned by OSI to Air Force One and he was on board with three Presidents.
        We both attended exclusive private schools in the state of Maine.

        We must not emulate Asians nor Jews. The key to keeping our families intact is to have a strong foundational set of moral values that teaches love, respect, and self respect. The heads of our families must lead by example and demand excellence in everything that we say and do in life. The family is the corner stone of any viable functioning society which should have a deep spiritual component as the key ingredient in sustaining us through trials and tribulations. We always studied harder than anyone and we outworked everyone on the court, pool, field, and track. I broke the record in the 100 yard dash in high school because I trained harder and had a superior diet. We won back to back swimming titled long before the movie “Pride” because we trained harder and had great coaching.

        The history of Asian Americans and Jewish Americans is vastly different than the unique rich history of Africans in America.
        Jewish Americans founded Brandeis University as a result of being rejected by a harsh quota system by the Ivy League schools.
        Each Asian subgroup’s experiences and histories are different but their are some similarities in the systems of discrimination, racial oppression, racial violence, and racially restrictive immigration laws.

        In my family failure was not an option and we were always taught from day one of birth that we were better and brighter than anyone, and we had to succeed.
        We are also taught that our Blackness was our greatest asset and we were rooted in the vast great knowledge of our history from the Grimaldi’s of Europe, the Shang Dynasty of China, the Olmecs of the Yucatan, the San Bushmen of Southeast Africa to the Kemetians/Egyptians.
        When I was in the fourth grade I received a copy of J.A. Rodgers 100 Amazing Facts About The Negro With Complete Proof from my mother who was employed with the Pittsburgh Courier the same folks who employed J.A. Rodgers at the time.

        We were not confused about our racial or ethnic identity nor the US’s legacy of white supremacy which we still feel all the pathologies and antecedents of the present effects of past discrimination.

        * One of my family members wrote the lyrics to the popular song by the Spinner’s titled “Could It Be I’m Falling In Love.” Another family member wrote, produced and directed the film titled “Love Jones.”
        I am quite sure that coming from Chicago that you have seen “Love Jones.”

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