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CHC Takes Part in White House Health Summit

Congressional Hispanic Caucus

111th Congress – Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, Chair

For Immediate Release


Contact: Miguel Ayala

March 6, 2009


(202) 225-2410



CHC Takes Part in White House Health Summit


(Washington DC)The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) was well represented at the White House Forum on Health Reform held this week. President Barack Obama included the CHC by inviting the Chair of the Health and the Environment Task Force, Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard. Furthermore, in his role as Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, Congressman Xavier Becerra also participated.


“I’d like to thank President Barack Obama for making sure that the voice of Latinos across the country were included in this important conversation,” said Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez, Chair of the CHC. “As leaders of the CHC and within Congress on this issue, Reps. Roybal-Allard and Becerra added the concerns of the caucus to the conversation.”


During the summit, more than 120 participants met in breakout groups. They shared ideas on reining in health care costs, expanding coverage to more families and improving the overall quality of health care in our country. Congresswoman Roybal-Allard also addressed eliminating health disparities among minority communities, particularly Latino communities and others that face particular language and culture competency challenges.


“I commend President Obama for bringing this bipartisan group of health care leaders together to jumpstart what we all hope will be a successful effort this year to fix our nation’s broken health care system,” said Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, who is also a senior member of the Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Subcommittee.  “As we begin the process of transforming our health care system, I am honored to have been asked to attend this historic gathering as an advocate for public health and prevention, and efforts to eliminate health disparities which impact the Latino community.”


Over the past decade, health insurance premiums have quadrupled and nine million more Americans are without insurance—bringing the total to 46 million. In America today the cost of health care causes a bankruptcy every thirty seconds. Particularly in these tough economic times, as people lose their jobs or are forced into part-time positions, many struggle with ensuring coverage for themselves and their families.


“The health care crisis affects the Latino community disproportionately-- one out of three Hispanics doesn’t have health care,” said Congressman Xavier Becerra, who is a Member of the House Ways and Means Committee. “The consequences for our families and our communities can be devastating.  President Obama recognized yesterday the importance of closing the gaps in racial and ethnic health disparities. Our caucus is ready to work with him to help solve this crisis.”


# # #

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) is comprised of Members of Congress of Hispanic descent.  Since 1976 the CHC has been addressing the needs of the Hispanic community in all areas of American life.  For more information on the CHC, call (202) 225-2410.

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