Latinos and Healthcare Reform
- Compared to the status quo with its unpredictable and unjustified premium hikes that can be imposed whenever the insurance companies want to increase their profits, this bill reduces the cost of health insurance for families and small businesses struggling to afford their health insurance premiums.
- It extends coverage to more than 30 million Americans—almost 9 million Latinos—who suffer day after day without health insurance.
- It provides you a choice of private health insurance plans and holds those plans accountable for the value they provide, with the right to change plans every year if you don’t like the job the insurance company is doing.
- To help many of the people who can’t afford private insurance, the bill expands Medicaid to everyone living below 133% of poverty – that’s $14,400 for an individual.
- It puts an end to many insurance company abuses. They won’t be able to exclude you from coverage if you have a preexisting condition, or drop you when you get sick, or cap your benefits so that they run out when you need them most.
- It includes reforms to improve quality and reduce the amount of wasteful and unnecessary spending that gums up our health care system today.
- Carmen Velasquez and her talented staff have been making a difference in the community since the Alivio clinic first opened its doors 20 years ago. Alivio meets the primary care needs of more than 20,000 Spanish-speaking, immigrants – predominantly Mexican – who otherwise would fall through the cracks of our health care system. Alivio provides high-quality, culturally sensitive medical care for those whose income or lack of coverage limit their access to care. But clinics like Alivio cannot be left to do it alone, so health reform will do more to ensure all providers across the country can meet the needs of a diverse population.
- The bill takes steps toward eliminating disparities by investing in data collection and research about health disparities. Having the right information about who we are serving helps us target our programs to meet the needs of our patients.
- The bill will also expand initiatives to increase the racial and ethnic diversity of health care professionals and strengthen cultural competency training among health care providers. Programs like the Hispanic Center of Excellence at the University of Illinois at Chicago have done wonders with little money to ensure that more Latino students enter the medical field. These students need financial assistance and the schools need funding to go out and recruit more Latino students so that one day, our medical professionals can better reflect the diversity of the communities they serve.
- The bill also increases the number of community health workers. These are trained lay people who can work within their communities to help teach others how to protect their health and monitor chronic health conditions like diabetes so they can avoid unnecessary complications. Promotoras [pro-mo-TOR-as] throughout Chicago are doing great work to educate members of the community and help them learn about available services or learn how best to exercise.
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