It’s Personal: What the Health Care Law Means for Latino Families

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - HealthBy: Cecilia Muñoz
Director of Domestic Policy Council at the White House

Edited by Lawndale Bilingual Newspaper

There are many reasons I’m proud and excited about what President Obama has accomplished for Americans through Obamacare.

First, of course, there’s my girls: I am the proud mother of two college students who are just on the cusp of starting exciting lives and careers – lives that I hope and pray will be healthy and fruitful. As a mom, knowing that they will have access to affordable coverage, free preventive care, including birth control, and that nobody will charge them extra just because they are female –gives me tremendous peace of mind.

And then there’s my brother, who works in an industry that often doesn’t provide its workers with health care. Like me, he’s over 50, and I am frankly relieved to know that we won’t ever have to worry about him finding affordable coverage while he does the work that he loves.

And most importantly, my Mom.

We lost Mom five years ago after an 18-year battle with breast cancer. She was lucky: she had good health coverage which gave her access to chemotherapy, including a fairly experimental treatment that was effective and extended her life and resulted in her becoming a major force in the lives of her six beautiful grandchildren. Without her treatment, they might not have known her.

President Obama lost his mother to cancer too and he believes that nobody should go broke just because they got sick. That is why he pushed so hard to fix our healthcare system. Through the Affordable Care Act, 10.2 uninsured Latinos have new opportunities for affordable, accessible coverage. The Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 6 out of 10 uninsured individuals can get coverage for $100 or less. And if you’re one of the 85 percent of Americans who already have insurance, today you have stronger coverage and more choices than ever before.

Recently, there have been some difficulties with the website, but the Affordable Care Act is so much more than that. There are resources available right now to help you enroll in quality and affordable coverage. You can call the 24/7 call centers at 1-800-318-2596 for assistance in 150 different languages including Spanish. You can work with a trained person in your local community (Find Local Help); or by submitting a paper application my mail. The six-month enrollment period has just begun. Sign up by December 15, 2013 for coverage starting as early as January 1, 2014. Open enrollment continues until March 31, 2014.

Comments are closed.