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Over 30 Percent of Hispanics Lack Health Insurance

Hispanic Link, News Report, Erick Galindo Posted: Aug 06, 2009

With the nation watching, Washington, D.C., has become consumed with its health for better or worse, and especially bad for those who cant afford it.

Meanwhile, 45 million people remain uninsured, with the majority being people of color.

According to the Centers for Disease Control 30.4 percent of Hispanics and 17 percent of blacks are uninsured.

President Obamas primetime speech on July 22 attempted to refocus the issue and press Congress to get comprehensive health care reform passed posthaste. It served to highlight the partisan battle on Capitol Hill.

I understand how easy it is for this town to become consumed in the game of politics, Obama told the U.S. public on national television. Ive heard that oneRepublican senator said defeating health reform is about breaking me.

Obama touted the drafting of the first comprehensive reform bill in 15 years and the endorsement of the American Medical Association as victorious battles, but eased off his insistence of an August deadline for lawmakers to have complete bills in each chamber.

The president and his opponents have been scrambling to gain grassroots favor in hopes that public opinion will shift the debate in their favor.

The past several weeks have seen TV ads, rallies and press conferences promote their opposing views on an administration plan that it maintains would insure 97 percent of the U.S. population.

In the nations capital, grassroots groups have stepped up the pressures. On July 21, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched its campaign opposed to what it calls irresponsible reform.

On the same date, the Center for American Progress held a teleconference highlighting the positive effects of a comprehensive health care initiative on communities of color.

Jennifer Ngandu of the National Council of La Raza was one of the panelists during the teleconference.

Ngandu told Hispanic Link News Service that the huge disparities among communities of color are directly addressed by the House health committees version of the proposed bill.

Another report, released by Health Care for America Now, a grassroots organization dedicated to comprehensive coverage for all, cited the damage done to communities of color if everyone is not covered.

HCANs report cited the lack of an affordable health care option as the main reason for the disparity. The group also called the battle in Washington counterproductive to true reform, stating, On Capitol Hill, the American public is witnessing a historic clash of Washington special interest groups fighting to protect their revenue streams.

Across the aisle on the issue, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Bruce Josten released a statement saying, A government-run plan will cause businesses to cut jobs and could seriously harm our economic recovery.

This, adversaries argue, is despite the fact that cheaper health care would offer savings across the board, even for members of the Chamber.

Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson released a statement calling for anyone who votes in favor of public option to forgo their right to participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and agree to enroll under that public option. Wilson failed to note that the FEHBP is a government-ran public option.

Related Articles:

Dr. Joycelyn Elders: Americans Need to Be More Healthy

Five Years to Life -- Congress Fails to Meet Health Needs of APIs

Will Health Care Reform Harm Ethnic Minorities?

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