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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Republican cuts to Medicaid would devastate Latino families and children

Wednesday, as part of joint campaign to protect Medicaid from budget cuts, Families USA and the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) co-released an NCLR report that underscored Medicaid's critical role in ensuring access to health care for Latinos.

One of our board members and chair of SEIU Healthcare, Dr. L. Toni Lewis, shared some of her thoughts on the report in this fantastic post, which underscores the urgency of taking action to protect the Medicaid lifeline, along with some easy ways to get involved in the fight to protect our health care rights.

From Dr. Lewis:

Medicaid covers one of every two Latino children across this country, and one of every four adults. It is the lifeline that ensures both the youngest and eldest members of Latino communities are able to see a doctor, instead of being forced to rely on emergency room care.

Sadly, secure, quality health care coverage has long been out of reach for many Latino families who work hard but simply cannot afford the skyrocketing cost of healthcare. A new report released by the National Council of La Raza and Families USA underscores what physicians, nurses and healthcare workers have witnessed with growing concern:

If Republican plans to gut Medicaid and take away the benefits of the Affordable Care Act become reality, millions of Americans will be harmed - but the harm to Latino communities would be exponentially greater.

The Meaning of Medicaid: A State-by-State Breakdown provides an in-depth look at the number of Latinos covered by Medicaid nationally and in each state. [Download the PDF report]

Now more than ever, it is critical that SEIU members and all Americans continue to reach out to their fellow Americans to take a stand for their health and urge members of Congress to protect Medicaid from extreme cuts. Ask your friends and family to oppose devastating cuts to Medicaid in any debt ceiling negotiation by spreading the word on Facebook now.

There is also a great new online tool from Families USA that allows you to enter your zip code to find and tweet your elected officials to stand up for Medicaid. Check it out here.