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Latinos Urge Swift Passage of Health Care Reform




Washington, DC – The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA) – a non-partisan national association of the largest Latino organizations from throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, as well as distinguished Hispanic leaders – are proud to announce a new initiative to address Latino needs in health insurance reform.


“Latinos, like many Americans, are lacking access to basic health care coverage, and quality medical and mental health services” said Lillian Rodriguez-Lopez, President of the Hispanic Federation. “We must have health care reform that provides for Americans and legal immigrants residing in the U.S. and its territories recognizing that we live side by side.”


"Latinos around the country are mustering their political forces to insure that there is affordable health coverage for all. As this process moves forward, we ask Congress to insure that all communities, including Latinos are incorporated in Health Care Reform," stated Janet Murguía, NCLR President.


“Health reform is necessary to help struggling states who today are filling the gap in providing health care to the uninsured and under insured while weathering a devastating economic downturn. Federal reform is needed to ensure that states can cover those who need health care and not bar states from developing cost-effective programs that

cover everyone if viable federal options do not exist,” said Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez (MD), Vice President, Public Policy, National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators.


“We may not all agree on the prescription for care, but we all agree that too many Latinos go uninsured, too many small business cannot afford insurance, and solutions must be sought. We are here to advance a discussion on what we want included and excluded from these bills for the betterment of the Hispanic community, and especially small business owners,” said David Ferreira, Vice President, Government Affairs, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.


“The time is now to have health care reform. This is a critical time for the Latino community to take action. That is why we and our partners at the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA) are joining together. We can demand that health care reform not leave us behind,” said LULAC National President Rosa Rosales. “We are asking for it to be inclusive of all Americans and that includes Puerto Rico to be included and not left out.”


“President Obama promised the country that health reform was for all Americans. Puerto Ricans are Americans and at this moment Puerto Rico is being excluded from the health insurance exchange option. It is a matter of fairness not a matter of money for the U.S. citizens of Puerto Rico to be included in health care reform,” said Rafael Fantauzzi, President & CEO of the National Puerto Rican Coalition, Inc.


Established in 1991, the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA) is a nonpartisan association of national Latino organizations and distinguished leaders. Its mission calls for unity among Latinos across the country to provide the Hispanic community with greater visibility and a stronger influence in the nation’s affairs by establishing policy priorities that address and raise public awareness of the major issues affecting the Latino community and the nation as a whole.



Lizette Jenness Olmos, LULAC, 202-365-4553 Marie Watteau, NCLR, 202-776-1812

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