In Hispanic Heritage Month HHS Reaffirms Commitment to Improving Health Care Access & Celebrates Progress Made under Affordable Care Act

During Hispanic Heritage Month HHS Reaffirms Commitment to Improving Health Care Access for All & Celebrates Progress Under Patient Protection & Affordable Care ActOn the occasion of Hispanic Heritage Month, which begins September 15, Secretary of Health & Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius issued a Statement, reaffirming the commitment of HHS and the Obama Administration to reducing the disparities in health care access that members of the Hispanic community have faced historically.

At the same time, Secretary Sebelius said that the progress already made under the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s signature health care law (which some call Obamacare) is cause for celebration.

“Because of the health care law, more than 6 million Latinos who have private insurance now can get many preventive services at no additional charge, and the nearly 4 million Latino elders on Medicare are now eligible for free annual wellness visits from qualified and participating health professionals, and may be eligible for discounts on covered prescription drugs,” Secretary Sebelius said.

“Nearly 1 million Latinos have gotten health insurance because the Affordable Care Act required their insurance companies to allow young adults to be covered by their parents’ health plan until they turn 26,” she said. “In the future, up to 9 million Latinos will have access to affordable health insurance because of the availability of tax credits and better access to Medicaid made possible by the health care law.”

Under the Affordable Care Act, community health centers have been strengthened. According to the HHS Secretary, one-third of all patients treated at community health centers are Latinos.

In addition, the Secretary referred to the Promotores de Salud Initiative, led by the HHS Office of Minority Health, which is using promotores, or community health workers, to help inform under-served Latino communities about programs and health care resources that are available to them.

““During Hispanic Heritage Month, we can celebrate the progress we have made in ensuring that all Americans, including Latinos, have a fair shot at the quality, affordable health care that they and their families need and deserve, while reaffirming our commitment to reduce health disparities for all ethnic and racial communities. And in doing so, we are investing in our entire nation’s physical and economic well-being,” Secretary Sebelius said.

Read the entire Statement from HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Hispanic Heritage Month on the HHS website. A copy is also re-printed below:

Statement from HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Hispanic Heritage Month

Released September 17, 2012

“Beginning September 15, we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, recognizing the Latino community’s many contributions to our nation. At the same time, Hispanic Heritage Month is an opportunity to renew our commitment to promote health and wellness in the Latino community.”

“Good health is fundamental to opportunity. The healthier we are, the more freedom we have to pursue our dreams and contribute to our families, our workplaces and communities.”

“But too many Latinos live sicker and die younger in America than they should. They are less likely to have access to quality health care and are less likely to get the preventive services they need to stay healthy. They disproportionately suffer from chronic and infectious diseases, such as diabetes, obesity, HIV/AIDS and cervical cancer.”

“The Affordable Care Act, signed by President Obama two years ago, has given us the tools to target health disparities and improve the well-being of all Americans. Because of the health care law, more than 6 million Latinos who have private insurance now can get many preventive services at no additional charge, and the nearly 4 million Latino elders on Medicare are now eligible for free annual wellness visits from qualified and participating health professionals, and may be eligible for discounts on covered prescription drugs. Nearly 1 million Latinos have gotten health insurance because the Affordable Care Act required their insurance companies to allow young adults to be covered by their parents’ health plan until they turn 26. In the future, up to 9 million Latinos will have access to affordable health insurance because of the availability of tax credits and better access to Medicaid made possible by the health care law.”

“The health care law has also built on the strong Recovery Act investment in expanding and strengthening our community health centers, where one in three patients are Latino. Additionally, the Promotores de Salud Initiative, led by our Office of Minority Health and in collaboration with others across the Department, is advancing the use of promotores, or community health workers, to increase our reach to under-served Latino communities about available programs and resources to help them lead healthy lives.”

“During Hispanic Heritage Month, we can celebrate the progress we have made in ensuring that all Americans, including Latinos, have a fair shot at the quality, affordable health care that they and their families need and deserve, while reaffirming our commitment to reduce health disparities for all ethnic and racial communities. And in doing so, we are investing in our entire nation’s physical and economic well-being.”

More Information

See related HelpingYouCare® reports on:

National Health Center Week, August 5-11, Highlights Health Care Available Regardless of Your Ability to Pay

HealthCare.gov Features 5 Prevention Resources for You and Your Family

HHS Announces $128.6 Million of New Grants to Expand Community Health Centers Under Affordable Care Act — Will Serve 1.2 Million More Patients & Create Over 5,000 Jobs

Consumers to Receive $1.1 Billion of Premium Rebates from Health Insurers under Affordable Care Act, HHS Announces

Obamacare Has Saved Americans $2.1 Billion on Health Insurance Premiums, New Report Reveals

President Obama Lays Out Contents of Health Care Law

For more news and information about the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s signature Health Care Law, and about health care reform, see the HelpingYouCare® resource pages on VoicesForCare™, including:

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