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For Latino Community, Health Reform Can't Wait
Date:3/9/2010

Following President Obama's call on Congress to pass health insurance reform, Governor Kaine outlines importance of reform for the Latino community, asking Hispanics to take part in the final march to health reform

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5iSzcPi0eU

WASHINGTON, March 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Following President Obama's call on Congress last week to act now to pass health insurance reform, DNC Chairman Tim Kaine issued this Spanish-language video calling on Latinos to take part in the final push for health reform – reform that would benefit the Latino community.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080519/DNCLOGO)

For Hispanics, health reform can't wait. One out of every three Hispanics under 65 lacks health insurance, 80 percent of Latinos stand to benefit from reform, and all Americans will benefit once insurance companies are held accountable: no more skyrocketing prices that the middle class can't afford, no more denied coverage for preexisting conditions, and families will be able to keep their children on their policies until the age of 26.

But with Republicans siding with the insurance companies and the status quo, the stakes are too high for Latinos. President Obama has taken the fight for reform further than any other president in history, and we will not give up the fight for reform that will be so helpful for Latino families, who are disproportionately affected by our broken health care system. Watch Governor Kaine's message here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5iSzcPi0eU

Transcript:

Hello, everybody. Last week the President laid out the way forward on health insurance reform and called on Congress to act quickly to pass historic and long overdue reforms to our country's health insurance system.

Almost a year has passed since we began this process. Another year that families suffered under back-breaking health insurance costs, another year in which insurance companies made decisions based on their bottom lines rather than your health and another year in which millions of have gone with no insurance at all.

For our Latino community, reform is especially urgent. One in every three Latinos does not have health insurance. And 80 percent will see immediate benefits from reform.

This is why last week the President made clear what many of you know all too well: we cannot delay any longer. The final march for reform has begun.

And the President's proposal charts the path to real reform.

First, the President's plan would hold insurance companies accountable and institute new protections to prevent insurance companies from denying you coverage, arbitrarily raising your premiums or charging you exorbitant fees. The President's reforms will put an end to the worst practices of the insurance industry.

Second, it will offer small businesses and those who cannot get insurance coverage through your employers the same access to quality health care that Members of Congress receive. And for those who still can't afford insurance, the plan will offer tax credits to help you pay for coverage.

Third, this plan will reduce the cost of health care for millions and extend the life of Medicare by rooting out waste and abuse in the system. Medicare patients will get better care, with fewer errors and American families, business and state governments will spend fewer dollars on health care.

But, despite the fact that reform is so obvious to us, powerful interests are arrayed against it – from insurance company lobbyists to Republicans in Congress. And though the President's plan draws from the best ideas of both parties, Republicans continue to say no. Why? Because Republicans simply don't want to hold health insurance companies accountable and force them to end their most abusive practices.

Like denying people coverage due to a pre-existing condition and jacking up premiums for 20, 30 and 40 percent on families and small businesses. We see it differently. We believe insurance companies should be held accountable and that doctors and their patients should be in charge of medical decisions – not the bean counters at the insurance companies.

Just like you, I've heard countless stories – many of them heart-breaking – about the need for health insurance reform. That's why I am calling on all of you to once more pick up the phone, knock on your neighbor's door, and demand the changes to our health insurance system that you deserve. With your help, we can ensure that quality, affordable health care is available now and for generations to come.

Thank you.

Ricardo A. Ramirez

Regional Press Secretary

Press Secretary for Hispanic Media

Democratic National Committee

202-863-8148

ramirezr@dnc.org

SOURCE Democratic National Committee

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