With the passing and enactment of the Affordable Care Act, more than 7 million Americans have been afforded the opportunity to sign up for comprehensive healthcare coverage. A provision that came with the ACA was the formation of Employers Centers of Excellence Network, a program comprised of large companies like Walmart, Target, Wells Fargo, and Lowes. Under this program, employees of these companies are able to undergo free hip and knee replacements at several hospitals around the country. Also provided under this program are travel costs, hospital expenses, and expenses for both the employee and a caregiver that can accompany them to the hospital.
These provisions have major implications for the African American community. Walmart is the largest employer of African Americans in the United States. About 20% of Walmart’s 1.4 million employees are African American. This program could bring some well-needed financial relief to communities that need it the most.
Adedotun Ogunbajo, Joint Center Graduate Scholar, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health