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National Hispanic Medical Association Supports Universal Health Coverage

Thursday, September 17, 2009 General News J E 4
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 10 President Obama's vision for health care reform will provide more security and stability to those who have health insurance. But for the National Hispanic Medical Association, which represents doctors across the nation who care for Hispanic patients, what is more important is that the President's health reform will provide insurance to those who don't have it and slow the growth of health care costs for families, businesses, and the government.

Hispanics currently number 50 million or 15% of the population, the largest ethnic group in the country. As a young population, Hispanics are the backbone of our future economy. Yet, our Hispanic communities face the greatest proportion of diseases, like diabetes and obesity and depression, and live in poverty with few choices for healthy lifestyles. Hispanics also face the challenge of being the group with the greatest uninsured, with three out of five under the age of 65 without health insurance.

The National Hispanic Medical Association President Dr. Elena Rios states, "We strongly support the health care reform plan of President Obama and we recognize his strong commitment to affordable universal insurance with a public option. We know that Hispanics stand to gain the most because having insurance will mean, starting with this generation, Hispanics will have less disease and health care costs and will be more productive in their communities."

Health care reform bills have already passed 4 out of 5 Congress committees and call for the transformation of a health system to focus on prevention services without costs, so that more Americans can live healthier lives, and public health targeted to needy communities with a national strategy that eliminates health disparities under the leadership of the U.S. DHHS Office of Minority Health.

NHMA is advocating for health care reforms that create more responsive health care services for Hispanics - primary care for all, language services as an insurance benefit for hospitals and medical care, cultural competence training for all providers, increased Hispanic doctors and nurses, medical malpractice reform, and the elimination of the current 5-year waiting period for eligible persons for Medicaid and for low income subsidies.

The National Hispanic Medical Association is a nonprofit association representing Hispanic physicians. The NHMA mission is to improve the health of Hispanics and other underserved. For more information go to www.nhmamd.org.

SOURCE National Hispanic Health Foundation
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