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The Affordable Care Act

By Jose Calderon on 03/21/2012 @ 03:08 PM

Friends, two years ago almost to the day, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law. Many of you supported the tremendous efforts of NHLA and others to ensure the law contained key provisions so critical to our community. You may recall the grassroots effort from community members, neighbors and friends to support the Latinos United for Healthcare campaign; a groundswell movement to share concerns and personal stories on just how important healthcare coverage was to all of us. Through the LUH campaign, and in no small measure because of NHLA’s commitment to advocating on behalf of our community, the legislation that was signed into law. The law included additional funding for a culturally competent healthcare workforce, increased resources to tackle health disparities, the strengthening of the Office of Minority Health, significant funding to make health insurance affordable for low income families, support for community health centers across the country, tax credits for small businesses, and many other key provisions.

The Affordable Care Act can be considered nothing less than a monumental victory for Hispanic-Americans, and a momentous benchmark of progress for the country as a whole. Unfortunately this victory continues to be one rife with destructive challenges. In the coming days the United States Supreme Court will begin hearing oral argument from those opposed to the Affordable Care Act in a desperate attempt to roll back the gains we so strongly fought for. As the court begins its deliberative process, I encourage you all to remember what is at stake. Any repeal of the ACA will mean insurance companies will once again have a green light to discriminate against individuals based on pre-existing conditions. Repeal of the ACA will mean that scores of recent college graduates, still struggling to find employment in a tough economy, will be bounced from coverage under their parents’ insurance plans, further saddling them with yet another hefty bill. A weakening of the ACA will mean that small business entrepreneurs across America and in your and my community will no longer have access to the incentives that enable them to provide health coverage to their employees.

As you begin to hear the stories and the analysis of issues before the Supreme Court regarding the ACA I urge you to remember what is at stake and remind your friends and family just what it means to Hispanics, to our economy, and to our country if we allow the provisions in this important law to be stripped from us.

Jose Calderon
Interim President
Hispanic Federation

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