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10.11.16 A relatively new way that health insurance companies are discriminating against the chronically ill is having an especially large impact on people of color. That’s according to a recent column by Julianne Malveaux, an economist and President Emerita of Bennett College for Women whose writing has appeared in publications such as USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Black Issues in Higher Education, Essence Magazine, the Progressive and many more. Malveaux, who currently serves on the board of the Economic Policy Institute, writes in the Huffington Post that government leaders should protect Americans’ access to charitable premium assistance programs. Health insurance companies are increasingly using bans on the use of financial assistance programs to reject patients with chronic diseases. She explains: Malveaux also notes that health insurance companies continue to announce they are pulling out of the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges because they aren’t making enough of a profit, even though they are raking in billions of dollars each year: She calls on the government to protect patients instead of creating policies that allow health insurers to discriminate: Insurance companies are currently targeting dialysis patients, but it’s a slippery slope. If they’re allowed to reject charitable assistance payments for kidney patients, who’s next? Malveaux asks: “Will insurers find new and novel ways to eliminate patients from their rosters who suffer from ALS, diabetes, cancer, or heart disease?” You can read the full column by clicking here. Related reading: "Saving the Affordable Care Act shouldn’t cost sick people their coverage" "‘Do no harm’ to patients who need charitable assistance to afford their health care" "Congressman to Obama: Kicking the sickest patients off health-care exchanges is not the answer" "Patient discrimination hits communities of color the hardest"