Sunday, July 21, 2024

GUEST BLOGGER SERIES: Rosa Rosales “In Honor of Senator Ted Kennedy Legacy, Pass Health Care Reform”


Latinovations would like to thank LULAC President Rosa Rosales for her contribution to La Plaza.

By LULAC National President Rosa Rosales

This week we witnessed the passing of our beloved friend Senator Ted Kennedy who was a champion for the voiceless.

Thirty-nine years ago, Senator Kennedy introduced his first bill to overhaul our nation’s broken healthcare system and provide affordable coverage to all Americans. Health care reform was referred by Senator Kennedy as the cause of his life and today we are closer than ever to achieving his dream. As the Senator stated time and time again, ‘we believe that access to healthcare should be a right — not a privilege — in this country.’ Thus to honor his wish we shall pass health care legislation this year.

Let us continue his cause. Let us take action this year to pass healthcare reform. And let us make Kennedy’s vision for America a reality.

Reforming health care in this country is an urgent matter. For decades, we have endured a broken system that restricts and denies coverage when individuals need it most, leaving many of us one illness away from bankruptcy. Today, over 46 million Americans do not have health care coverage. More than 30% of Latinos are uninsured.

Our current flawed broken health care system leaves tens of millions of Americans without coverage, resulting in poor health and substandard levels of service. If we don’t take the necessary actions to reform the system while we have the chance, it will be a long time before the opportunity arises again. We have a choice: We can use this crucial time to shape workable health care reform proposals for our families, or we can waste it away by caving to the disruptive behavior of those who will never support reform.

LULAC supports the public option and studies have found it to be cost effective for all taxpayers since it lowers the cost of subsidies while preserving private coverage for most people. The public option is not the downfall of health care, as some would have you believe. Rather, it is what will end the insurance companies’ monopoly and control over our individual health.

The public option is central to real healthcare reform. Reform that lowers costs and ensures all Americans get the quality and affordable healthcare. LULAC supports healthcare reform legislation that includes a public option.  As National President of LULAC, I look forward to working with my colleagues to develop comprehensive legislation that allows all Americans to choose the healthcare plan that’s right for them and their families.
We are open to bipartisanship on legislation that results in concrete action and solutions. The basic principle of any bipartisan solution must be to ensure that health care is about the individual. We can achieve this through a public option.

The Latino community cannot afford to go another year without health care reform. Every day whether it’s the graduate student who can’t afford to pay for coverage or the homeless mother and her two children that are going from one relative’s home to another, we must ensure that all Americans have access to coverage. A public plan option has the potential to promote competition, help bring down costs and increase coverage for all Americans.

Senator Ted Kennedy has been supporting health care reform since 1967. Therefore, let’s support Senator Robert C. Byrd in naming the current health care legislation in honor of Senator Ted Kennedy. The bill will bear his name in honor of his commitment to insuring the health of all citizens.
The League of United Latin American Citizens advances the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, housing, health and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating at more than 700 LULAC councils nationwide.

Rosa Rosales was re-elected unanimously for a fourth term as LULAC National President on July 18, 2009 at LULAC’s 80th National Convention in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She was first elected July 1, 2006 at LULAC’s 77th National Convention in Milwaukee, WI. She leads the largest and oldest Hispanic civil rights organizations in the United States. She has received numerous honors and awards for her continued service to LULAC, including: 2009 101 List of the Most Influential Leaders in the United States by Latino Leaders Magazine, the 100 Most Influential Hispanics by Hispanic Business Magazine, American GI Forum Leadership Award, the LULAC Women of the Year Award and the Cesar Chavez March for Justice Award.