Weekly Story


Health Care Story of the Week Wrap-up

March 25 2010


This week, President Obama signed into law historic health care reform legislation that will substantially change the U.S. health care system by improving Americans’ access to health insurance. Coupled with an additional bill that makes important fixes to the underlying legislation (to be passed by the Senate later this week), NCLR believes that the enactment of health care reform will benefit many—but not all—uninsured Latino families throughout the nation.

What does health care reform mean to the Latinos who shared their health care stories with NCLR? Under the new law, Omar will be able to access health insurance without fear that his epilepsy will disqualify him from coverage because it is a preexisting condition. Juanita and her husband, who are not offered health insurance through their jobs, will have access to a new health insurance marketplace with affordability and consumer protections. With tax credits available for many families who purchase plans in the new health insurance exchanges, working mother Beyda should no longer have to sacrifice her own coverage to afford coverage for her daughter.

Despite the advocacy of millions and NCLR’s best efforts, health care reform will not help all of the people who wrote to NCLR to tell their stories. For instance, the legislation did not remove the five-year waiting period for poor legal immigrants who would otherwise qualify for Medicaid coverage—children like Teo will still wait years before they can enroll in the program, unless his state takes up an option to remove this bar. The law also prohibits immigrants like Jaime from purchasing health plans in the health insurance exchanges—even with their own money.

As the next steps unfold, NCLR will continue to work with members of Congress and the administration to ensure that eligible Latino families are able to access the new paths to health insurance and ensure that those who are left behind have alternative access to health care services.

Thank you for reading more than 20 installments of the weekly health care stories. Stay tuned for analyses of how all of the people featured in these stories are likely to be impacted by health care reform implementation.


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Read other featured Stories of the Week:

Don’t Forget About Beyda! (December 03, 2009)
Don’t Forget About Natalio! (December 10, 2009)
Don’t Forget About Andrea! (October 22, 2009)


Thank you for reading more than 20 installments of the weekly health care stories. Stay tuned for analyses of how all of the people featured in these stories are likely to be impacted by health care reform implementation.


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