COVID-19’S Impact on Texas Latino Health: What Can You Do?
The number of coronavirus cases are continuing to rise in Texas, a state that also has the distinction of having the highest overall uninsured rate in the country. As the crisis continues, Texas is facing the COVID-19 pandemic with state leaders refusing to take steps to ensure the health of their residents, including hardworking Latino families. In a conversation on June 25, UnidosUS presented this situation and what we can do to start fixing it.
In this roundtable, moderated by UnidosUS Texas Strategist Manuel Grajeda, State Representative Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin) explained in his opening remarks that his county, Travis County, “is a microcosom of what’s happening around the country.”
“This is an issue of inequity at its heart,” he said, criticizing his state for not having expanded Medicaid, which would’ve been a life saver for our communities during the pandemic.
Alberto Gonzalez, UnidosUS Health Policy Senior Strategist, explained that 26% of Latinos in Texas who are uninsured, as well as 14.8% of Latino children. That’s why organizations like Su Clínica Community Health Center are playing key roles during this health crisis. Cheryl Sproles, Director of Community Outreach/Community Relations at Su Clínica, explained how her organization has taken measures to assist the large number of patients that need their help now.
During the last section of the roundtable, the speakers focused on strategies to keep pushing state leaders to activate options or policy changes that would increase coverage and quality of life for uninsured and/or noncitizen Texans. Anne Dunkelberg, Every Texan Associate Director, presented more statistics to make the case for the need of an expansion in Medicaid, as well as the need to keep the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
You can be part of this revealing and compelling conversation by watching the video above. Below you will find actions you can start taking to make your voice heard.
Advocate in Your State
Learn more about the impact the Affordable Care Act has had for Latinos in Texas and how COVID-19 has affected our community in Alberto Gonzalez’s presentation here. Ask your representatives and Governor Abbott to expand Medicaid. You can read the letter UnidosUS sent to the Governor here. Call 1-877-880-6704 and ask your networks to do it too:
Be Counted and Take Action:
- Expand Medicaid for 1.5 million Texans today. 26% of TX Latinos are uninsured and Latino kids are 2x as likely to be uninsured. This is unacceptable, especially during COVID-19. Call Gov Abbott Now! 1-877-880-6704 #TXLege #ExpandMedicaid #SickOfItTX
Ask Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to drop the ACA lawsuit. Call 800-252-8011 and ask your networks as well:
- If the ACA Repeal Lawsuit that @TXAG @KenPaxtonTX is pushing is successful, 5.4 million Latinos nationwide could lose their health coverage and protections, including 655,800 Latinos in Texas. Call AG Paxton now at 800-252-8011 and tell him to #DropTheLawsuit! #ProtectOurCare #TXLege
Be Counted and Take Action
- Learn more about UnidosUS’s work on health and its social determinants in our latest video ”Unidos For A Culture of Health”.
- Our community has been, in large part, left out of previous stimulus packages. That makes it imperative that the U.S. Senate take up the HEROES Act as soon as possible. And we are calling on our community and our allies to support immediate Senate passage of the HEROES Act. Learn more here.
- If you have not already, register to vote here and participate in this year’s elections.
- You can make your voice heard by filling out the census as well, which you can do online, by phone, or by mail.
- Finally, consider supporting our Esperanza/Hope Fund to provide emergency assistance to our community.
Visit UnidosUS’s central hub on COVID-19 information designed to keep Latinos informed, and learn more about our work around racial justice here. Also available is information on the policy priorities UnidosUS has been advocating for with Congress and policymakers to ensure relief that is more equitable, broad-reaching, and inclusive of Latinos.