LATINO LEADERS URGE SENATE TO VOTE AGAINST AFFORDABLE CARE ACT REPEAL
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, a coalition of 45 of the nation’s preeminent Latino advocacy organizations, sent a letter to the United States Senate, urging members to vote against the passage of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). As currently written, this bill fails to provide care to those in our nation who need it most, including the Latino community. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the bill would result in 22 million fewer people having health insurance within a decade.
The enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) led to important positive changes for the Latino community and the BCRA threatens to reverse this progress by repealing key provisions of the ACA. Under the ACA, 4.2 million Latinos gained insurance coverage and the Latino uninsured rate fell to a record low of 16.2 percent. Furthermore, the BCRA would significantly erode funding for the Medicaid program. Medicaid is essential in providing health care coverage for 74 million people, including 18 million Latinos. Other key areas of concern include restrictions on access to affordable and safe reproductive health care, preventive care and other critical services such as mental health and oral health.
“The Senate’s so-called Better Care Reconciliation Act is yet another example of Congress failing to consider the needs of all people. This bill is no improvement on the House bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, as it would create further obstacles for those who are most vulnerable in the Latino community and across the nation. Cutting back Medicaid and women’s health care are the biggest, but not the only, ways this bill would harm the Latino community, communities of color and people throughout the United States. We urge the members of the United States Senate to consider these consequences and reject the Senate’s bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act,” said Hector Sanchez Barba, Chair of NHLA and Executive Director of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement.
“This Senate health reform bill is unacceptable since it leads to 49 million uninsured and many more underinsured, thus, we should improve the current ACA and increase access to affordable health care insurance and health care for all Americans,” said Dr. Elena Rios, Co-Chair of NHLA’s Health Committee and President and CEO of the National Hispanic Medical Association.
“The Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) is the GOP’s latest draconian attempt to deny people of healthcare coverage and roll back a decade’s worth of progress towards health equity. The most recent CBO score confirms that the BCRA will leave 22 million people uninsured over the next decade, which would be nothing short of a national crisis. Latinas and other women of color stand to lose the most under BCRA. Its proposal to defund Planned Parenthood, decimate the Medicaid program as we know it, eliminate pre-existing protections, and erode the essential health benefits are all direct attacks against the well-being of Latinxs, low-income people, and communities of color. These provisions are vital to the health of our communities, and we depend on them to be healthy. Without such provisions, access to affordable, effective, and critical healthcare is often unattainable. We urge the Senate to prevent a health crisis and vote no on BCRA,” said Ann Marie Benitez, Co-Chair of NHLA’s Health Committee and Senior Director of Government Relations at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health.
“The Senate healthcare proposal would be especially harmful to agricultural workers, their children and other members of rural communities, which already face serious barriers to adequate health services,” said Bruce Goldstein, Co-Chair of NHLA’s Economic Empowerment and Labor Committee and President of Farmworker Justice. “At the same time consumers are demanding more fresh fruit and vegetables to improve their health, this bill would damage the health of the people who cultivate and harvest our produce.”
“The Senate GOP bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act is just as unconscionable as the House version – both would slash billions from Medicaid and leave at least 22 million Americans uninsured and without the financial security that having health insurance provides," said Eric Rodriguez, Co-Chair of NHLA's Economic Empowerment and Labor Committee and Vice President of NCLR. "The threat to Medicaid is of grave concern to Latinos. Over 18 million Latinos are covered under Medicaid, including more than half of all Latino children. There is no question that the impact of these cuts would fall heavily on our community. We challenge any Senators considering supporting the Better Care Reconciliation Act to explain to their constituents how cutting them off from health insurance is supposed to help them be healthier and more financially secure."
“The Senate’s bill undermines access to health care and would disproportionately impact vulnerable women and youth who have experienced violence or trauma, including domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse,” said Patti Tototzintle, Co-Chair of NHLA’s Latina Task Force and CEO of Casa de Esperanza. “As a nation, we should be committed to making health insurance and health care more affordable, accessible and comprehensive, not less, so that everyone has a pathway to healing and well-being.”
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ABOUT THE NATIONAL HISPANIC LEADERSHIP AGENDA
The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda is composed of 45 of the leading national and regional Latino civil rights and public policy organizations and other elected officials, and prominent Latinos Americans. NHLA coalition members represent the diversity of the Latino community – Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and other Latino Americans. NHLA’s mission calls for unity among Latinos around the country to provide the Latino community with greater visibility and a clearer, stronger influence in our country’s affairs. NHLA brings together Latino leaders to establish policy priorities that address, and raise public awareness of, the major issues affecting the Latino community and the nation as a whole. For more information, please visit: www.nationalhispanicleadership.org.
NHLA MEMBER ORGANIZATIONS
Alianza Americas | American G.I. Forum | ASPIRA Association | Avance Inc. | Casa de Esperanza: National Latin@ Network | Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute | Farmworker Justice | Green Latinos | Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities | Hispanic Federation | Hispanic National Bar Association | Inter-University Program for Latino Research | Labor Council for Latin American Advancement | LatinoJustice PRLDEF | League of United Latin American Citizens | MANA, A National Latina Organization | Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund | Mi Familia Vota | National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures | National Association of Hispanic Federal Executives | National Association of Hispanic Publications | National Day Laborer Organizing Network | NALEO Educational Fund | National Association of Latino Independent Producers | National Conference of Puerto Rican Women, Inc. | National Council of La Raza | National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators | National Hispanic Council on Aging | National Hispanic Environmental Council | National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts | National Hispanic Media Coalition | National Hispanic Medical Association | National Institute for Latino Policy | National Latina/o Psychological Association | National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health | Presente.org | SER Jobs for Progress National | Southwest Voter Registration Education Project | United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce | United States Hispanic Leadership Institute | United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce | U.S.- Mexico Foundation | Voto Latino