Latino Leaders Launch National Campaign for Healthcare Reform

WASHINGTON, DC– A coalition of national, state and

local Hispanic leaders who are advocating in support of healthcare reform

announced today the creation of Latinos United for Healthcare (LUH) and the

launch of www.latinosunitedforhealthcare.org. Latinos United for Healthcare will serve as a

platform for Latino leaders to engage in the healthcare reform debate and its

website will be an organizing tool, providing relevant and up-to-date

information about the current debate as well as ways to advocate for reform.

“With one in three Latinos lacking

health insurance and suffering from poor health outcomes as a result of that,

we feel the urgency to engage strongly in the health reform debate at this

critical juncture.  For that reason we have come together to form Latinos

United for Healthcare and launch a website that will help rally the Latino

community from coast to coast,” said Lillian Rodriguez López, President of

Hispanic Federation and Chair of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda

(NHLA).

LUH will work directly with national

Latino organizations, as well as with Hispanic state and local elected

officials, health experts, medical professionals, and community advocates. The

campaign will include educational briefings in target states, media outreach

and grassroots lobbying.

“Our community stands ready to speak

out for passage of health care reform.  We have always made our voices

heard on the critical issues facing us, and the health of our families is one

of the most important of our time,” said Rosa Rosales, National President of

the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC).  “In the coming

weeks, Congress will have no doubt where the Latino community stands.”

The guiding principles of the

coalition are to: 1) Improve and make healthcare more affordable; 2) End

healthcare disparities; and 3) Not permit discrimination in the care received

by the individual or families. In support of these principles, LUH invites the

Latinos to visit www.latinosunitedforhealthcare.org

to learn more and sign the petition.

“We have a once-in-a-generation

opportunity to fix health care for our nation’s families.  Congress and

our President need to ensure that Latinos are included in health care reform by

improving the community’s access to health insurance and ensuring that Latinos

receive high quality care,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO of the

National Council of La Raza (NLCR).  “Reforming our nation’s system to

include communities of color is not only the right thing to do, but it’s the

smart thing to do for the future of this country.”

“The stakes for our community

couldn’t be higher.  Health care reform must include affordable access to

health services, culturally competent professional training, and prevention in

order to overcome stark disparities between Latinos and non-Latinos in rates of

asthma, lung cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, HIV/AIDS and other

diseases,” said Dr. Elena Rios, President and CEO of the National Hispanic

Medical Association (NHMA).

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