As families increasingly struggle to balance health care costs with everyday needs, nearly all
Americans are acutely aware of the urgent need for comprehensive reform of our health care
system. Latinos, who at 15% of the U.S. population are the largest racial or ethnic minority group in the nation, are expected to represent 60% of the nation’s population growth between 2005 and 2050. Policymakers must respond to the changing demographics of the country and understand Latinos’ experiences with the current system in order to create reforms that guarantee affordable, accessible health care for all. If health care reform does not integrate the needs and concerns of all Americans, it will inevitably be less effective in the long-term.
In April 2009, to mark the beginning of National Minority Health Month, the National Council of
La Raza (NCLR) released Profiles of Latino Health, a new resource for those who want to know more about prominent health issues affecting the Latino community. The first series, “The Top Twelve Questions about Latinos and Health Care,” shines a spotlight on Latinos’ health status and their interactions with the health care system. These snapshots provide insight into the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead for creating a health care system that meets the unique needs of the Latino community.
Each week from April to June, NCLR answered a prevailing research question that fell under one
of five major themes:
* Key health trends
* Health insurance coverage
* Access to care
* Health care costs
* Quality of care