LATINOS: Study Shows Residents Want Health Care Expansion
The Latino population wants improved health care, including coverage for the uninsured and expansion of prescription benefits to the poor and elderly, the Modesto Bee reports. The national survey of 1,000 Latinos, 200 of whom live in California, by the Hispanic Business Roundtable is a "wake-up call" to Republicans, the group's frequent congressional ally. "The Republican leadership needs to be paying attention. If they don't start looking at providing more (insurance) opportunities, this could be [politically] devastating," Roundtable Executive Director Roberto Deposada said. Currently, 39% of Latinos nationwide lack health coverage, compared to only 14% of whites (Doyle, 1/21).
The Quality Initiative
In response to the health care needs of Latinos, the California HealthCare Foundation has teamed up with La Opinion to offer a health care supplement called "La Buena Medicina." The publication, written in Spanish, discusses important quality care issues facing the Latino community, including how HMOs work and their quality ratings and how to select the best providers and communicate with doctors. Also covered are new state regulations for HMOs and patients' rights, as well as a resource guide to help readers "better navigate the health care system." The goal of the Quality Initiative is to "improve the quality of medical care in California through aggressive public reporting of quality care measures and support accountability and improvement efforts" (CHCF release, December 1999).