I still don't understand how the health law illustrates a shortfall of "color-blind" policies targeting the poor. The demographic numbers in the article show that when Obamacare more generally targeted poor people, it was hugely beneficial to blacks and Latinos. It was only when the Supreme Court shifted it from "lift all boats" to letting states decide whether to lift or sink all boats, did people of color start getting screwed.In other words, Obamacare doesn't show that black and brown people will be disproportionately among the screwed over when policies "simply target the poor"-- it shows black and brown people will be disproportionately among the screwed over when policies shift power to the states.
To be sure, as a national program for all veterans, the GI Bill contained no clauses directly or indirectly excluding blacks or mandating racial discrimination. Even the NAACP's director of the Office of Veterans Affairs, Frank Dedmon, believed that "the VA administers the law as passed by Congress to both Negro and White alike."59 But it was, as Frydl acutely observes, "a congressionally federalized program -- one that was run through the states, supervised by Congress; one central policy making office and hundreds of district offices bounded, in a functional as well as political way, by state lines."Operating in this manner, she notes, the "exclusion of black veterans came through the mechanisms of administration," and this "flexibility that enabled discrimination against black veterans also worked to the advantage of many other veterans." In this aspect of affirmative action for whites, the path to job placement, loans, unemployment benefits, and schooling was tied to local VA centers, almost entirely staffed by white employees, or through local banks and both public and private educational institutions. By directing federal funding "in keeping with local favor," the veteran status that black soldiers had earned "was placed at the discretion of parochial intolerance."