Obama Writes To Latinos, Says Health Reform Will Help Them

President Obama

President Obama. (Photo: The White House)

In an op-ed published on Wednesday in the Spanish-language press, President Obama announced the launch of www.ciudadosdesalud.gov, the federal government’s health insurance portal for the Hispanic community.

“For too long our health care system has failed too many Americans, with Latinos among those most affected. Nearly one-third of all Latinos are uninsured-the highest of any racial or ethnic group,” wrote the president. “Latinos have persistently had trouble accessing basic health care, while suffering higher rates of obesity and chronic illnesses like heart disease.”

The new website will be a way for Spanish-speaking citizens and legal residents to identify and purchase an appropriate health care plan.

Touting the new law, called the Affordable Care Act, as a boon for Latinos, the president alluded to a number of provisions that will address the particular needs of the Hispanic community, who often come up against language and cultural barriers that prevent them from getting high quality care. In particular, the president highlighted the expansion of community health clinics in communities which currently have little or no health services.

In reaching out to Latinos about health care, the President may have hoped to quell criticism from Hispanic activists that he is not addressing their urgent needs, particularly in the realm of immigration reform. But undocumented immigrants won’t be direct beneficiaries of the new Affordable Care Act either–since they’re not covered by the law.

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