WASHINGTON, DC—Today, the Center for American Progress Action Fund released two important documents on minorities. The first report, “How John McCain’s Economic Plan Fails Black and Hispanic Americans,” details how the historic improvements in employment, wages, and poverty elimination made during the 1990s for communities of color have been dangerously eroded under the Bush administration and how McCain’s economic plan would continue this troubling trend. The second report, “The McCain Health Care Plan: Leaving Minorities Behind,” takes a closer look at how his health care plan would negatively affect people of color.
In the past eight years real incomes for black and Latino families have fallen, unemployment has risen, and poverty has spread. As more and more African-American and Latino families lose their financial footing, and in many cases their homes, McCain’s response is to put into place even more dramatic cuts in education, health care, and anti-poverty programs while showering corporations and the wealthy with tax cuts. Under McCain’s plan African-American and Latinos families would be left further behind by implementing tax cuts that overwhelming benefit the wealthy and by cutting vital federal programs—Head Start, Pell grants, job training and WIC programs—that help low-income families work their way out of poverty.
To make matters worse, McCain’s radical health care plan would disproportionately harm insured minorities by making health care less affordable and less accessible, and causing some to lose their coverage. By shifting large numbers of Americans from employer coverage to the individual market, the McCain plan would put more than 12 million chronically ill, non-elderly minority adults at risk of losing coverage in a market with fewer protections, higher costs, and less coverage. Furthermore, individuals who are chronically ill or have pre-existing conditions may not be able to afford or find coverage in the individual market.
Minority families are already struggling to secure their financial present and future and ensure their well being. As the Congressional Black Caucus kicks off its legislative conference and as Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations go under way, it is time to stop the lip service and the non-solutions. McCain’s economic and health care plans are a step in the wrong direction, a step communities of color cannot afford to take.