The Health Committee shall:

  • Work to promote, protect and maintain the health of African Americans;​

  • Assess the health needs of the community;​

  • Advocate for equal access to health ​education, care treatment in the community; 

  • Advocate for equal access to health education, care, treatment, and research for all Americans;

  • Sponsor health-related activities such as health forums, fairs and workshops highlighting issues of importance to people of color;​ such as health forums, fairs and workshops highlighting issues of importance to people of color; and

  • Support health initiatives of the Association.


There have been many myths and misrepresentations (both intentional and unintended) surrounding health care reform proposals supported by the NAACP, President Obama and many Members of Congress. Furthermore, many attempts to correct the misinformation and answer questions at town hall meetings and other forums have been, sadly, unnecessarily obstructed. Therefore the NAACP would like to provide the following information to debunk some of the myths and answer some of the questions about what health care reform will and will not do.

MYTH #2: Health care reform will result in people being forced to change insurance companies or doctors.



This is simply not true: if you have health insurance that you like, or a doctor that you like, you will be able to keep the coverage you have and / or the physician you trust. Nobody wants to change the elements of the current system that are working. Furthermore, under the health care reform proposals being considered insurance companies will be prohibited from dropping or watering down insurance coverage for those who become seriously ill.

MYTH #4: Promoters of health care reform are trying to encourage, or even require, euthanasia for seniors.


  • There is a provision in the proposed legislation in the House of Representatives and supported by President Obama, that requires Medicare to cover optional living will consultations between patients and a professional medical counselor.

  • If a patient wants to talk about a living will, in which instructions are given specifying what actions should be taken in the event that they are no longer able to make decisions due to illness or incapacity, then Medicare will cover the consultation.

  • This provision is intended to empower patients to make informed decisions about their own care if they decide to do so. A living will ensures that a person is allowed to control his or her own destiny, rather than have doctors, hospital administrators or hospital policies make those decisions.

MYTH #1 - Health Care Reform Will not help average Americans


Everyone, sooner or later, requires health care. Under the proposals supported by President Obama, all Americans will enjoy certain protections. These include:

  • No discrimination for pre-existing conditions; insurance companies will be prohibited from refusing you coverage because of your medical history;

  • No exorbitant out-of-pocket expenses, deductibles or co-pays; insurance companies will have to abide by yearly caps on how much they can charge for out-of-pocket expenses;

  • No cost-sharing for preventive care; insurance companies must fully cover, without charge, regular checkups and tests that help you prevent illness, such as mammograms or eye and foot exams for diabetics;

  • No dropping of coverage for the seriously ill; insurance companies will be prohibited from dropping or watering down insurance coverage for those who become seriously ill;

  • No gender discrimination; insurance companies will be prohibited from charging you more because of your gender.

  • No annual or lifetime caps on coverage; insurance companies will be prevented from placing annual or lifetime caps on the coverage you receive. Extended coverage for young adults; children would continue to be eligible for family coverage through the age of 26.

  • Guaranteed insurance renewal; insurance companies will be required to renew any policy as long as the policyholder pays their premium in full. Insurance companies won't be allowed to refuse renewal because someone became sick.

MYTH #3: Health care reform will cost trillions of dollars. American taxpayers simply cannot afford the inevitable increased costs.


  • As proposed the majority of the provisions that would pay for reform will come from cutting waste, fraud, and abuse within existing government health programs; ending big subsidies to insurance companies; and increasing efficiency with such steps as coordinating care and streamlining paperwork. In other words, these proposals would take money that is already being spent on health care and re-allocate it toward reforms that lower costs and assure quality affordable health care for all Americans.

  • It also encourages the kinds of reforms we know will save money in the long run: preventive care; computerized record-keeping; and comparative effectiveness studies to expose wasteful procedures and hospitalizations and give doctors the tools to make the right treatments for their patients. Under the current plan, health care reform would be fully paid for over 10 years, and it would not add one penny to the deficit.

  • The truth is that we can’t afford not to reform health care. The cost of inaction is too high. Health care spending has grown in recent years three times faster than average wages. Premiums have doubled in this decade. Out of pocket costs for people with insurance have gone up by 32 percent.  Health care is the fastest-growing item in the federal budget. It is absolutely unsustainable. These costs are crushing families and businesses, keeping wages flat, stunting our economic growth, strangling our government.

MYTH #5: Health care will be “rationed” and patients will not be able to get certain tests or procedures, even if their doctor feels they are necessary.


  • Health care reform will actually stop much of the rationing patients are currently experiencing.

  • It will prevent insurance companies from denying coverage because you have a pre-existing condition;

  • prevent them for canceling coverage because you get sick;

  • ban annual and lifetime limits on coverage, which often force people to pay huge sums out of pocket if they develop a serious illness; and

  • prevent discrimination based on gender.

  • Health care reform will actually put treatment decisions back into the hands of doctors in consultation with their patients.