Press Releases

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Latina Health Advocates Applaud the Introduction of the “Exchange Inclusion for a Healthy America Act of 2015”

Press Release
Washington
loretta Kane, Camino Public Relations Phone: 917.410.7242 Email: lk@caminopr.org

WASHINGTON, DC— Today, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) applauds the leadership of Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) for the introduction of the “Exchange Inclusion for a Healthy America Act of 2015,”  legislation that would expand health care access for millions of families, regardless of immigration status. ​

Jessica González-Rojas, executive director of NLIRH, issued the following statement:​

“The introduction of the ‘Exchange Inclusion for a Healthy America Act of 2015’ marks a renewal in our ongoing efforts to fix the wrongful and unjust exclusion of undocumented families from healthcare reform. ​

The legal and policy barriers to affordable health coverage imposed on immigrants disproportionately harm women.  According to a report from the Guttmacher Institute,among women of reproductive age, 40 percent of the 6.6. million non-citizen immigrants are uninsured, compared with 18 percent of naturalized citizen immigrants and 15 percent of U.S.–born women.  It is even worse for reproductive-age women living in poverty, with over half of non-citizen immigrant women lacking health insurance – nearly twice the proportion of U.S. born women.  Such restrictions on healthcare access have only added burden to the already existing financial and family hardships that immigrants, particularly immigrant women, face in their daily lives. This legislative proposal is imperative to ensure that all contributing members of communities across America have access to the care they need.​

At a time when a vocal minority has hijacked the national debate to vilify immigrants and attack women’s health and rights, this bill is a step forward in defending and protecting the dignity of all people.

NLIRH strongly believes that access to healthcare is a fundamental human right. Therefore, the struggle for immigrant justice should never be separated from the fight to expand access to affordable, quality healthcare.  Legislation such as the ‘HEAL for Immigrant Women and Families Act of 2015’ and now the ‘Exchange Inclusion for a Healthy America Act of 2015,’ are opportunities for us to lift barriers to strengthen America’s health care system in order to advance health, dignity, and justice for all families.”

###​

The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health is the only national reproductive justice organization dedicated to building Latina power to advance health, dignity, and justice for 26 million Latinas, their families, and communities in the United States through leadership development, community mobilization, policy advocacy, and strategic communications.