Health Care Reform Statement

Statement from NAHN™  President, Norma Martinez Rogers, PhD, RN, FAAN, regarding the health care reform bill:

“As you know we have been extremely busy these past few months in helping to promote the health care reform bill. You may be asking yourself why we need to do this and I would like to share with you the following:

  • Despite progress, ethnic disparities persist among the 10 leading health indicators identified in the 2010 national health objectives.  Hispanic/Latinos living in the US are almost twice as likely to die from diabetes as are non-Hispanic whites. We account for a disproportionate percentage of new cases of tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. We have higher rates of high blood pressure and obesity than do non-Hispanic whites. We bear a disproportionate burden of disease, injury, death, and disability when compared with non-Hispanic whites.
  • We earn less than non-Hispanic white workers. We are more likely than non-Hispanic whites to live in poverty. Our children represented 17.7% of all children in the US but constituted 30.4% of all children living in poverty (Ramirez and de la Cruz, 2003). The effects of childhood poverty have an impact on their health status as they become adults.
  • We have the lowest rate of health insurance coverage in comparison to other major racial/ethnic groups (Pew Hispanic Center, 2000). The probability of Hispanics/Latinos under age 65 being uninsured is 35%, compared with 17% of the general population under age 65.
  • Only 43% of Hispanics working receives health insurance through work. This occurs because most of us work disproportionately in blue-collar and service-oriented jobs (Smedley et al., 2003).
  • We are seriously underrepresented in all health professions (less than 5% of physicians, nurses, dentists, are Hispanic)

I am asking you to please write your House of Representatives and your Senators to support the much needed Health Care Reform bill. The lack of insurance is a major barrier to cost-effective healthcare in the US since people who are uninsured do not seek preventive services, wait until “the last minute” to get medical treatment thus their condition is exacerbated, and fail to manage their own chronic illnesses.”

Norma Martinez Rogers, PhD, RN, FAAN
NAHN President