Latina Advocates Celebrate Third Anniversary of ACA
Today, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) celebrates the third anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which increased health care coverage and access to preventive care in this country. For many Latinas, who are at high risk for lack of health insurance, the ACA has served as an entry point to coverage.
The ACA has greatly expanded health coverage for many Latinos/as. More than 913,000 young Latino/a adults have received coverage through their parents’ health plans. Additionally, an estimated 8.2 million Latinos/as have now received preventive services without cost sharing since the passage of the ACA.
“Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), more Latinas are accessing the vital reproductive health care services they need. These services include life-saving preventive and other sexual and reproductive health care, such as cervical cancer screenings, intimate partner violence screenings, and contraceptive coverage and counseling. The continuing implementation of the ACA ensures that many Latinas can make the healthiest decisions for themselves and their families,” said Jessica González-Rojas, executive director of NLIRH.
However, these gains are not shared by all Latinas. As of now, only 25 states will support Medicaid expansion, leaving many Latinas and their families without health care. Additionally, the ACA did not address longstanding exclusions of immigrants from health care benefits. Also, many immigrant women are barred from accessing the benefits of the ACA through the expanded Medicaid program, full price plans offered on the new health insurance exchanges, and premium tax credits and subsidies to help afford plans on the exchanges.
“We urge Congress and the Administration to address immigrant access to health care in immigration reform, and look forward to finding commonsense solutions that will keep immigrant Latinas, their families, and their communities strong and healthy,” said González-Rojas. “Furthermore, we urge state legislatures and governors to support Medicaid expansion so that currently eligible Latinas can access the health care they need.”
The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health is the only national organization working on behalf of the reproductive health and justice of the 24 million Latinas, their families and communities in the United States through public education, community mobilization and policy advocacy.
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