Rodham Clinton Addresses Latino Health Care Issues at National Council of La Raza Convention
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) on Monday told attendees at the convention of the National Council of La Raza -- the nation's largest Latino civil rights organization -- that she wanted to work to ensure that Latino families had health insurance to help address health care issues such as asthma and lead poisoning, the Washington Post reports (Fears, Washington Post, 7/19). Rodham Clinton voiced her support for several bills pending before Congress, some of which have been endorsed by NCLR.
One measure would allow individual states to remove the five-year federal ban government-funded health care for legal immigrants (Eichel, Philadelphia Inquirer, 7/19). Under the proposal, pregnant women and young children would be exempt from the ban (Knight Ridder/Salt Lake Tribune, 7/19).
Rodham Clinton also called on the federal government to increase efforts to reimburse hospitals that provide a significant amount of no-cost health care to immigrants, as well as boost funding to remove lead paint from old buildings. Latino children are more likely to develop lead poisoning than the general population (Philadelphia Inquirer, 7/19).
Rodham Clinton said, "You are doing your part to make sure that every child has a special place in the American dream," adding, "But I don't know if your government is doing its part now to make your job easier" (Washington Post, 7/19).
In related news, the Philadelphia Inquirer on Tuesday examined the quality of health care and barriers to care for Latino children in the U.S. According to panelists at the NCLR conference, Latino children experience more health problems than other ethnic groups.
Glenn Flores, director of the Center for the Advancement of Underserved Children at the Medical College of Wisconsin, said such conditions include asthma, obesity, dental problems, depression and tuberculosis. Flores cited the lack of employee-sponsored health coverage and language barriers as two reasons for such health issues.
According to a survey of Spanish-speaking families by Philadelphia Citizens for Children and Youth, nearly half of Latinos had no access to a doctor who spoke Spanish. Flores said, "The country continues to become more Latino, but Latino children are still the least insured" (Wang, Philadelphia Inquirer, 7/19).