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NCLR, LULAC, MALDEF, SEIU, LNHI: universal healthcare for illegal aliens (Latino Agenda for Healthcare Reform)

On December 12, the group Latinos for National Health Insurance (LNHI, president Jaime Torres) convened a meeting in Washington DC where they and a host of other groups created a coalition called the Latino Agenda for Healthcare Reform. They called for an end to a supposed disparity in healthcare coverage between Hispanics and other groups.

And, they also demanded "access to high quality, culturally and linguistically competent care to every man, woman and child who lives in the United States and its territories". In other words, they want universal healthcare to include illegal aliens. The groups involved, their agenda, and parts of their press release (link) follows.

In addition to LNHI, here's the partial list of signatories:

League of United Latin American Citizens
National Council of La Raza
Mexican American Legal Defense & Education Fund (MALDEF)
Service Employees International Union
National Hispanic Council on Aging
National Puerto Rican Coalition (president: Rafael Fantauzzi)
National Hispanic Medical Association
National Latina Health Network
AFSCME, New York
Universal Health Care Foundation Connecticut
National Minority AIDS Council
Alianza Dominicana
Center for the Health of Urban Minorities, New York
Midwest Latino Health Research Center, Chicago
Raul Yzaguirre, (Executive Director, Center for Community Development and Civil Rights, Phoenix)

From the press release:
..."Hispanic/Latino leaders strongly urge the New Administration and Congress to develop a comprehensive healthcare reform plan that will eliminate health disparities, as well as the financial, institutional, cultural and linguistics barriers in accessing and using the healthcare system," said (Aida Giachello), Associate Professor and Director of the Midwest Latino Health Research, Training and Policy Center at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

...The coalition plans to work with elected officials and community members from across the country to ensure that the promise of reform delivers access to high quality, culturally and linguistically competent care to every man, woman and child who lives in the United States and its territories.
Needless to say, everyone who lives in the U.S. includes current (and future) illegal aliens.
Latino Agenda for Healthcare Reform

We applaud the recent renewed interest and debates by elected officials and policymakers to create legislation to ensure that persons living in the United States have adequate access to healthcare.

However, we are very concerned that just as all economic high tides don't raise all boats, all "healthcare reform" proposals might not adequately address the Latino communities' healthcare needs, especially when it comes to affordability, geographic diversity, citizenship status, language barriers, chronic diseases, and pervasive health disparities.

We, as organizations that represent diverse Latinos from across the nation, must ensure that any healthcare reform proposal seriously being considered must take into the account the hard realities that Latino families face every day and ensure that proposals guarantee access to an inclusive health care system that provides comprehensive quality care and address health disparities. To this end, we articulate a common set of principles that we believe are central to any health reform agenda. They are:

An Inclusive Health Care System - Guarantees accessible healthcare for all people residing in the USA and territories.
- Ensures real world affordability that takes into account the economic realities of our community and that does not ration or segregate healthcare coverage or services based on income.

Comprehensive Quality Care: - Requires a package of comprehensive care available to everyone that is not dependent on health status, income, or ability to pay that includes preventive services, and treatment and long-term supportive services for serious and chronic conditions.
- Encompasses a clear strategy for developing the quality workforce required to provide high quality care and ensuring it’s adequately distributed, especially in underserved communities.

Addressing Health Disparities: - Demands a financial commitment to directly address pervasive health disparities with targeted prevention and treatment programs.
- Includes concrete plan for ensuring the provision of culturally and linguistically appropriate care.

Tue, 12/23/2008 - 12:04 · Importance: 9