Our Health Care System is Broken, Reform Now!

45 million Americans don’t have health insurance and everyday more are denied.

September 9, 2009

Lizette Jenness Olmos, LULAC (202) 833-6130 ext. 16

Washington, DC – The League of United Latin American Citizens, the largest and oldest Hispanic civil rights organization in the country, supports reform of our health care system this year.

“We need meaningful health care reform that will lower costs, expands access and improves quality,” said LULAC National President Rosa Rosales. “For too long we have recognized problems in our health care system - cost, access and quality - but have not taken the required action to correct these deficiencies.”

Health care reform is a top priority for LULAC. Latinos will benefit more from universal health care coverage than any other population group in the United States. As Congress debates various proposals to reform our health care system, LULAC has established the following set of principals which we urge be included in the bill:

  1. It must make health care coverage universal. It is unacceptable that 45 million Americans lack health insurance;
  2. It must eliminate the practice of denying coverage to individuals and families with pre-existing conditions, and ensure affordability through a sliding scale based on ability to pay;
  3. It must allow individuals a choice of a private insurance plan, including keeping the insurance they have if they like it, or a public health insurance plan that guarantees affordable coverage without a private insurer middleman;
  4. It must include Puerto Rico in the health insurance exchange program and ensure that Puerto Rico is reimbursed for health care costs at the same rate as other states;
  5. It should incorporate the best practices for chronic care management and wellness programs, medical home models and hold accountable care organizations for greater coordination of care for each patient, better outcomes, and to reduce health disparities;
  6. It should ensure a financially sustainable system by incorporating cost containment measures that effectively reduce costs while maintaining quality;
  7. It should provide for significant funding to the study and prevention of health disparities among minority and disadvantaged communities;
  8. It should include funding and support for community health centers which are the primary care facility for approximately 18 million patients;
  9. It should not include a 5-year waiting period for legal immigrants to participate in the program;
  10. It should not require onerous verification systems that would discourage eligible individuals from applying.

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

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