By Jessica Karina Guerra-Ugalde
I was thrilled and honored to stand behind the President last week as he talked about how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) benefits all of our communities. Because of the immense pride I have in the ACA, I wanted to share my enrollment story and what it means to me. I graduated college in 2008, and did what college kids throughout the country do after graduation – I moved home and began looking for work. I worked as an intern and later as a temp- both positions did not offer any benefits. At that point, I was 22 years old, and I really did not think that anything could affect me. I was healthy and rarely got sick. Immediately after the ACA became law and was implemented, my mom went to her job to ensure that I was covered under her health insurance plan. A week after I received my health insurance card, I became very sick. I had to see a number of different specialists, had lab work done, and ultimately, the doctors were able to diagnose and treat me for pneumonia. If I didn’t have health insurance, if it wasn’t for ObamaCare, I wouldn’t be here today in good health.
The ACA is good for Latinas and our community because it has given young people like me, access to health insurance in a time when it’s hard to find work. It’s even more difficult to find a job that offers benefits. Because of ACA, I can go to sleep at night knowing that I can see the doctor whenever I want, without worrying about not having money to pay for a provider out of pocket or for medication. For young people graduating college, it adds stress to your job hunt to find a job that would offer you health care benefits. A few weeks after I got better, I was able to access all the care that I needed to make sure I was 100%. That included an appointment with the dentist, ophthalmologist, and my annual physical. When you have health insurance, you take even the smallest things for granted like seeing the eye doctor for contacts.
I believe that my experience, my story, is the story of many young people across the country. My mom says that the ACA, all the policy makers who worked to pass this law, and the people who have fought for the ACA have all saved my life and I agree. Thanks to this law, I was able to get the care I needed when I needed it.
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Posted in Education, LOLA, tagged aca, america, community, education, florida, immigrant, latina, Latinas, latism, lola, miami, moms, nlirh, obama, Obamacare, online, organizing, reproductive health, rj, teen mom, teen pregnancy, trainings, webinar, young mothers on October 2, 2013|
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Latinas are taking over! Both online and specifically in Florida. There are two very awesome trainings available right now. Check both out, see if you’re eligible and register. Make sure to help us spread the word!
THIS IS A CALL TO ALL YOUNG MOTHERS
check out this awesome community mobilizing and advocacy webinar training! Completely accessible from home if you have a phone and computer with internet access. We believe in supporting young mothers and providing them with the tools to be leaders in their community.
Register here: http://tinyurl.com/MomELola
MIAMI, FLORIDA ACTIVISTS!
Our LOLA Training is coming to you! From October 18th-20th. Register for our three day Latin@s Organizing for Leadership and Advocacy training to receive the tools necessary to be a leader in your community. We will be covering your stay and travel.
Spread the word and register here: http://tinyurl.com/LOLAFL
If you have any questions please email Angy@LatinaInstitute.org or call us at 212-422-2553
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When I helped promotoras go door to door in Utah to educate families about the Children’s Health Insurance Program, I became increasingly aware of how confusing the health care system is for many persons, especially for aspiring citizens. I remember how some people shut the door in my face and how I could tell if someone was at home but pretended they weren’t. Also, I distinctly remember how my conversations with newly arrived immigrants and refugees would be the only meaningful conversations I would have that day. Going door-to-door made me realize that one conversation may have led to one more person or family getting the affordable, quality health care they deserve. If we didn’t have these conversations, some of these families would still have thought that they couldn’t get health care until they were in the emergency room.
I am sure today that many persons are still confused about how to access health care in this country and that will be no different after enrollment begins on October 1st and after coverage begins on January 1st. I am thrilled that National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health is a Champion for Coverage. As a champion, we will reach Latinas, their families, and their communities who face insurmountable obstacles to health care. We are all aware that Latinas face severe health disparities which are only aggravated by lack of access to care. Latinas have the highest rates of getting cervical cancer and are diagnosed at twice the rate of non-Latina white women. Transgender Latinos/as may not receive the critical cervical cancer screenings they need because of provider discrimination. For many Latinas, the cost of contraception is prohibitive, forcing many to go without it. For these reasons, and many more, we are honored to help educate our community.
At this moment, we Latinos/as have an opportunity to receive the health care we need. All health plans that will be offered on the Health Insurance Marketplaces will be required to cover preventive health services, the very life-saving care that Latinos/as need to treat and screen cervical cancer and other illnesses. For the very first time, these same plans cannot discriminate on the basis of sex or gender identity, an important step in improving the health of our LGBTQ community members. However, we aren’t going to get the care we need unless we all chip in and charlamos con nuestras hermanas, nuestras madres, nuestras tías y nuestras familias. For more information about how you can enroll, please go to HealthCare.gov or CuidadoDeSalud.gov. For more information on enrollment options for our LGBTQ hermanos y hermanas, please go to http://out2enroll.org/.
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