Our Issues: Access to Health Care
The implementation of the health care reform law, now known by its acronym PPACA or ACA (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or simply Affordable Care Act) lays out provisions that heavily impact Latinas, their families, and immigrant communities. We have been working hard to make sure that the voices of Latinas and their families are heard every step of the way.
Since March 2010, we have been working with national and state non-profit organizations, federal agencies and activists across the country to improve provisions that leave out the most vulnerable populations – immigrant communities and their families. We’ve submitted comments to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), evaluated new developments in ACA implementation, and have testified on behalf of millions of Latinas and their families to advocate for the high quality health services that they deserve.
Here’s a condensed look at what we’ve been doing in 2011 on the PPACA:
- In February, we launched the Birth Control: Nuestra Salud, Nuestra Prevención campaign to lift the voices of Latinas and all women who are advocating for access to prescription birth control without co-pays under the health law. Check out our campaign and join in on the discussion about Birth Control as Preventive Care!
- In January, we hosted a briefing titled: Latinas and Reproductive Justice in the 112th Congress to reflect on our current political climate and what the prospects for the reproductive rights and justice are in the 112th Congress. The distinguished panel included James Ferg-Cadima, Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), Irene Bueno, Nueva Vista Group, Gloria Montaño Greene, National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) and a member of the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals. See full 2010 Election Report here.
- We encouraged the inclusion of contraception in the definition of preventive care at IOM’s second public hearing in January.
- Shortly after the Institute of Medicine (IOM--body that will make a recommendation about what should be considered as preventive care) panel was confirmed, it held its first meeting on women’s preventive care. We worked with the Women of Color United for Health Reform to give testimony that elevated the shared experiences of women of color in our struggle for health care services that benefit women, families, and communities of color. Eleanor Hinton Hoytt, the President and CEO of the Black Women’s Health Imperative, spoke eloquently on behalf of the coalition and gave very compelling remarks about our belief that health care is a human right and that health disparities, which disproportionately impact our communities, must be eliminated.
- In partnership with the National Health Law Program, we offered comments on Medicaid to HHS. Our primary goal in these comments was to promote and strengthen the agency’s plans to better involve impacted communities before a state is approved for a new program. This would help HHS decide whether key groups of beneficiaries were actually given adequate notice of the state’s plan to divert from established Medicaid rules.
- The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF), National Health Law Program (NHeLP), and NLIRH submitted comments on the administration’s process to define “essential health benefits.” These comments were critical because the definition of essential health benefits will inform the basic requirements of any insurance program under health law reform. In these comments we advocated for women’s reproductive health care, language access, and children’s health.
View our statement on the passage of health care reform here.