White House highlights healthcare reform benefits for Latinos

The Obama administration on Wednesday announced the launch of the Spanish-language version of its HealthCare.gov insurance portal in an effort to tout the law's benefits for Latinos — a key Democratic constituency.

The launch of www.CuidadoDeSalud.gov by the Department of Health and Human Services was accompanied by an op-ed from President Obama in which he called the reform law a "crucial turning point for healthcare in the Latino community."

ADVERTISEMENT
The White House has come under criticism from some Latino advocates for failing to move forward on immigration reform while supporting a health reform provision that bars illegal immigrants from buying health insurance with their own money in the new exchanges.

"For too long our healthcare system has failed too many Americans, with Latinos among those most affected," Obama wrote in an English-language version of the op-ed. "Nearly one-third of all Latinos are uninsured — the highest of any racial or ethnic group. Latinos have persistently had trouble accessing basic healthcare, while suffering higher rates of obesity and chronic illnesses like heart disease ... But the passage of the new healthcare law — the Affordable Care Act — marks a crucial turning point for healthcare in the Latino community by targeting the very issues that are preventing them from achieving better health, and extending care to millions of Americans."

Obama goes on to reiterate how the law transforms the insurance industry, but also highlights some elements of the law that are of particular interest to Latinos. These include support for community health centers that serve low-income populations, new training requirements for doctors and nurses and loan and scholarship programs to encourage doctors and nurses to practice in underserved communities.

The op-ed ran Wednesday in several Spanish-language newspapers, including New York's El Diario La Prensa and La Opinion in Los Angeles.