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President Obama's Pitch To Latinos To Enroll In Obamacare

Statement of Dr. Elena Rios, President & CEO, National Hispanic Medical Association

WASHINGTON, March 10, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- I was impressed by President Obama's joint interview for UNIVISION and Telemundo's audiences this past Thursday, to pitch them on enrolling by March 31st for new health insurance plans offered this year. This interview was much needed to help Latinos in the country better understand that Obamacare can help their families, many of whom do not have employer health insurance benefits. 

The President's major messages were aimed at encouraging families to enroll so that they have the means to pay for the high costs of healthcare, think - a car accident or a broken leg that may need surgery or a stroke or worsened diabetes that may need a week in a hospital. He said "You need to look at the information (website: HealthCare.gov or CuidadodeSalud.gov, 1-800-phoneline, or in-person assistors) because you or your family may be eligible for free insurance (Medicaid or Children's Health Insurance) or for insurance plans that are less than $100/month that can help pay for expensive healthcare, that even I can't pay for."

President Obama went on to say, "For those of you who know individuals or families who have tried unsuccessfully to enroll for health insurance on the Marketplace at HealthCare.gov or CuidadodeSalud.gov websites, invite them to come back. There have been key improvements to the websites, especially for families with immigrants, so the process runs more smoothly.  Nothing provided in your Marketplace health insurance application will be sent to Immigration Services, so families can be confident sharing their information."

The Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) created Marketplaces for those eligible to find affordable insurance plans and about 4 out of the 6 million Americans projected to enroll have done so, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. For Latinos, some who are not legal residents, have insurance benefits from some employers or have access to healthcare from our safety-net, including community hospital emergency rooms, clinics and private physicians, dentists, and mental health programs who provide services with sliding fee scales and government support because of the importance of protecting the public's health. Latinos need to be healthy and productive as the largest ethnic group in the nation.

The National Hispanic Medical Association is a nonprofit organization that represents Hispanic physicians with the mission to advocate to improve the health of our communities.

SOURCE National Hispanic Medical Association

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