LATINOS: Ad Campaign to Boost Medi-Cal, Healthy Families Enrollment
Seeking to spread the word that receiving public health care assistance poses no threat to immigrants fearful of deportation or delayed citizenship, the California Primary Care Association is launching It's Important! -- a TV, radio and print ad campaign aimed at enrolling Latinos in Medi-Cal and Healthy Families, the Sacramento Bee reports. Backed by Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa (D-Los Angeles), the campaign reinforces Vice President Al Gore's announcement to put an end to immigrants' fears that using public services will brand them "public charges" -- barring them from citizenship or risking deportation. "It's important! is just another step to add value to the state's efforts and increase enrollment in a program that hasn't gone far enough to reach Latinos and other ethnic communities," said Jane Garcia, CPCA President and executive director of Clinica de la Raza in Oakland, referring to the state's $21 million Health Families program. Since last July, 122,000 children have enrolled in the program -- 40% of the goal of 328,000 -- but Latino enrollment continues to lag by an additional 25%. CPCA's campaign, funded in part by a $40,000 grant from the California Endowment and increased funding from Healthy Families, features a toll free number (1-888-895-0808) with 24-hour bilingual operators who will guide callers to local health services, clinic posters urging families to sign up, and TV commercials that show Latino parents bringing their children to local clinics (Griffith, 6/3).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.