This month, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health is serving up 20 DAYS OF ACA, a media, public education, and organizing effort aimed at sharing personal stories, information, and resources on how Latinas have benefited from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and how they will continue to benefit as the law is funded and implemented.
As part of our ¡Soy Poderosa! campaign, we will mobilize Latinas to commemorate this important law on its 2-year anniversary and declare their own power as health care advocates, consumers, and providers.
Starting today, we will celebrate the second anniversary of the enactment of the ACA (March 23rd), and we will watch closely as the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), the highest court of the land, holds three days of oral arguments (March 26-28) in order to review the law.
Latinas have much to gain from this important law, and even more to lose if it is undermined, reversed, or not implemented appropriately:
- Latin@s have the highest rates of health care uninsurance among all racial and ethnic groups. Barriers to both private health insurance as well as public health programs contribute to Latin@s’ disproportionately high rates of uninsurance.
- Those Latinas who do have access to medical care are often met with a health care workforce that is not adequately competent and sensitive to their culture and language preferences. Co-pays for even basic preventive services, including contraception, create situations where Latinas have to choose between groceries and health care.
- Fear of bias and discrimination from health professionals due to one’s immigration status, sexual orientation, and gender identity among others also create barriers to meaningful health care.
- The lack of a diverse health care workforce serving in communities where Latinas live puts health care out of reach for many.
- Those without employer-sponsored coverage face prohibitively high cost and ever-increasing premiums on the individual health insurance market.
- Eligibility rules for Medicaid, Medicare and the Children’s Health Insurance Program often deny coverage to populations of Latinas: for example by excluding those without documentation and permanent residents who have had that status for five years or less.
- The result is that Latinas disproportionately suffer from a number of diseases and conditions, such as cervical cancer, HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
However, many provisions of the ACA hold the promise of expanding meaningful access to quality and affordable health care and public health services for Latinas, their families and their communities.
So for the next 20 days, we will be unpacking the ACA, highlighting personal stories of Latinas who have already benefited from the reforms, and previewing what Latinas can look forward to as the law is further implemented. Stay tuned for new fact sheets, information on calls and webinars, and opportunities to ask YOUR questions about the ACA and what it means for you.
Hope you will stay tuned! If you have a personal story of how the ACA has positively impacted your access to health care, or you’d like to get involved in our efforts, please contact Kimberly Inez McGuire at Kimberly@latinainstitute.org.