MINORITY HEALTH: Latinos Report More Challenges in Obtaining Health Care
Nearly one in three Latino voters report difficulty in obtaining medical care, and the majority think the federal government should guarantee health insurance for all legal residents and citizens, the San Jose Mercury News reports. According to a Mercury News poll of Latino voters, 80% said that "improving access to health care should be a top priority," and 16% called it "an important priority." Only 2% of respondents indicated that improving access to care "was not a priority" or "shouldn't be attempted." Eighty-four percent of Latino voters said that the federal government should guarantee health coverage, compared to only 65% of Americans overall. More than 80% of Latino voters polled reported having health insurance, and 30% overall reported difficulty in obtaining care. Of those who lacked coverage, primarily younger voters and voters earning less than $25,000 annually, 65% indicated that they had difficulty getting medical care. Only 19% of Americans overall report similar difficulty in accessing care. Daniel Rocha, an Arlington, Texas-based urban planner, said, "I think it's a very important issue, with our population aging and more people needing care. I think catastrophic health care ought to be a priority for any country that is industrialized" (Dyer, Knight Ridder/San Jose Mercury News, 10/14).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.