LULAC Joins Better Health Care Together Coalition to Advocate for a New American Health Care System.

March 15, 2008

Contact:
Amy Weiss (202)-203-0448  or
Debra DeShong Reed (202) 528-4214 for BHCT or
Lizette Jenness Olmos, 202-833-6130 ext. 16 for LULAC

(Washington, DC)-- Better Health Care Together (BHCT) today announced that The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) has joined its coalition and will participate in their efforts to fix the nation's broken health system. They are the newest addition to the diverse coalition of concerned leaders from the business, labor, and public policy sectors dedicated to urging public leaders to build a new American health care system by the year 2012.

"Because of the disproportionate number of Hispanics who are uninsured and under-insured, LULAC strongly urges a health care coverage plan that insures all people in an equitable manner," said LULAC National President Rosa Rosales. "With a population of 46 million, it is vital to urge greater awareness among health care providers of the disparities in the health care system. Hispanic patients should not have to choose between purchasing groceries or buying medication. LULAC also advocates for patient education programs to increase patients' knowledge about diseases disproportionately affecting Latinos such as diabetes, Alzheimer's and AIDS, but also how to find the best health care and participate in the treatment process."

"We are excited that LULAC has joined Better Health Care Together, and we look forward to the valuable contributions they will bring to the coalition, as we continue to work toward the common goal of ensuring that all Americans have affordable health care," said Linda Dillman, executive vice president of benefits and risk management for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

"It is so important that LULAC, an organization that works tirelessly to overcome health disparities and improve the lives of Latinos across the country, is adding their powerful voice to the call for a new American health care system' said SEIU President Andy Stern. "After all, it's only by working together that we can win the kind of change that will ensure that every man, woman and child in this country has health coverage they can count on."

Since launching in February 2007, BHCT has embarked on numerous activities to help build support for fixing the nation's health care system. Last year, BHCT convened a national Summit, attended by almost 100 industry, labor and public policy leaders, and headlined by Governors Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) and Edward Rendell (D-PA).

In addition, the Coalition members urged Congress to renew SCHIP, saying that the program's record of providing health care to children was too vital to ignore.

More recently, BHCT has begun a series of regional conferences to highlight the urgent need for health care reform around the country. The first event, held in Little Rock, Arkansas, featured keynote speakers Senators Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) and Mark Pryor (D-AR). At the event, BHCT released a report, "Health-Cost Crossroad: Why American Businesses Urgently Need Health System Reform," which found that by 2012, if trends persist, the number of uninsured will climb by 7 million and the costs businesses pay for benefits will rise by 55 percent. The next regional event will be held on March 10th in Portland, Oregon, where a state-focused report will be released examining the health conditions and health care outlook for Oregon.

About Better Health Care Together:

Better Health Care Together (www.betterhealthcaretogether.org) is a unique partnership of organizations launched in February 2007 dedicated to a set of four common sense principles for achieving a new American health care system by 2012. The campaign is comprised of AT&T, the Howard H. Baker, Jr. Center for Public Policy, the Center for American Progress, the Committee for Economic Development, the Communications Workers of America, Embarq Corporation, General Mills Inc., Intel, Kelly Services, Manpower Inc., Qwest Communications International, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. The coalition's members are working to engage leaders at all levels -- from local communities to Washington, D.C. -- to support real and meaningful change to America's health care system by 2012.

The coalition's work centers around four principles:

  • We believe every person in America must have quality, affordable health insurance coverage;
  • We believe individuals have a responsibility to maintain and protect their health;
  • We believe that America must dramatically improve the value it receives for every health care dollar; and,
  • We believe that businesses, governments, and individuals all should contribute to managing and financing a new American health care system.

About the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)

The League of United Latin American Citizens, the largest and oldest Hispanic membership organization in the country, advances the economic conditions, educational attainment, political influence, health and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating at more than 700 LULAC councils nationwide.

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