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Obama Discusses Critical Health Issues Affecting Hispanics Today

Created: 14 August, 2009
Updated: 20 April, 2022

President Barack Obama meeting with Hispanic journalists. Photo: Isabel Morales/ConCienciaNews
President Barack Obama meeting with Hispanic journalists. Photo: Isabel Morales/ConCienciaNews

 Washington, D.C.

(ConCienciaNews) — President Barack Obama, in a meeting in the White House with some journalists, showed himself worried and ensured that the cases of the influenza H1N1, continue appearing in the south of the continent, are being monitored and that with the arrival of winter in the north, the disease may affect more the Latinos who live in the country.

 “We think that the possibilities that the Latin community as well as other communities of low incomes, which have no medical insurance, may be more vulnerable to this issue which is serious,” Obama said.

 The lack of information and the little medical access may be some of the reasons why the influenza reaches more easily the Hispanic community.

 Nevertheless, to prevent and keep informed the community, the government created the webpage in four languages. Its aim is to keep informed the different communities on the guidelines established by the authorities when the pandemic arrives, how to prevent it and how to monitor it.

 “The possibility that a severe influenza kills many people still exists. We have been preparing to keep people informed, we are working in a vaccine, we are making sure that our schools are prepared and not present possible outbreaks,” Obama said.

 According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of human cases with pandemic influenza H1N1 is still considerably growing in many countries, even some are fighting against this problem some time ago.

  “We are still studying the evolution of the disease as it affects new countries, the community spreading grows in countries already affected and the information is shared worldwide,” ensures WHO in a press release.

 Obama also took the opportunity to discuss his health reform plans and how they will affect immigrant communities.

 And although congressmen went into a summer recess until September, and President Obama did not reached the votes he was waiting for to approve the health reform which will give medical coverage for millions of people, Obama ensured that little by little changes in his mandate have been made. Nevertheless, these have benefited only the documented immigrants.

 At the beginnings of this year the President Obama signed a law named Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009. This law reauthorizes the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) which authorized the United States to receive federal funds to provide health coverage for children in the country. That law also eliminated the five year period of waiting for children and pregnant women, who are legal immigrant, by authorizing the United States to employ the federal funds to give health coverage through the CHIP and Medicaid Programs for these legal immigrants. 

 “This was a battle and we won. We were there for decades and we made it through,” Obama said.

 The president also ensured that when it is talked about the new health reform, the undocumented workers will not receive coverage, “we will try to give insurance for those who are legally here,” said.

 In the country, the Latinos are the ethnic group with less medical coverage. The 34 percent do not have insurance. Nevertheless, the fact that more than 12 million undocumented persons stay in the country affects those who may or may not participate in the health reform which will reduce costs and will subsidized some benefits for persons with low income.

 In other opportunities, the President said that if somebody in the country is a legal immigrant, then every effort will be made to give them preventive health and access to medical assistance.

 The President is still looking for the support of the two chambers to make a health reform.

 For information on health resources for Hispanics, call Acceso Hispano’s helpline at 1-800-473-3003.