DEMOCRACIA FEBRUARY 2011 Image here HEALTHCARE REFORM AND YOULatinos make up a significant percentage of the uninsured in America, IN THIS ISSUE:so its no surprise that the Latino community had cause to celebratewhen President Barack Obama signed the Health Care Reform Act into Healthcare Reform:law last year. Unfortunately, today, there are efforts mounting in the what’s at stakenewly elected Congress to repeal the Health Care Reform Act, andscale back any progress we’ve made towards ensuring our mostvulnerable populations can receive the care and treatment they need. Clean Air and our futureLast month, the House passed a repeal of the bill , however, similarefforts in the Senate this week, were unsuccessful. While this is cer- Colorado’s anti-tainly a victory, the opponents of health care have not been dis- immigrant billsuaded, they are in fact committed to continuing fighting for a repeal. introducedThere’s a lot of confusion over just what the healthcare law does andso we thought we would highlight some of the more important provi- Democracia files suitsions that have already taken effect, and others that are due to take against Governor Rickeffect in 2014. Find out what you stand to lose if we allow politics tobe played with an issue as important as the health and well-being of Scott (R-FL) in fight for Fairour nation’s citizens. (page 2) Districts
N 5 Benefits the Hispanic Community stands to lose if Congress repeals Health Care Reform 1. Young Adult Coverage until Age 26Prior to passage of the reform act, over 2 million young adults were left uninsured, resulting oftentimes in expensive emergency room visits. Today, millions of young people across the country cannow remain on their parent’s coverage until they turn 26 as a result of Health Care Reform.2. Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) Prior to the passage of the reform act, millions of Americans, including children, were deniedcoverage because of a pre-existing condition. Common chronic conditions like Diabetes , asthma,or high blood pressure were enough for an insurance company to refuse covering patients. Today,we can feel secure knowing that our health issues won’t prevent us from seeking the care andtreatment we need moving forward.3. Preventive Care and Services The best way to manage your health is through preventative care. Early diagnosis is criticalin successfully combating many illnesses. Prior to the passage of the Health Care Reform Act, mil-lions of Americans were unable to get diagnosed early, while others had to suffer or pass on thecost of expensive visits to the emergency room. Starting September 2010, insurance companies willhave to offer you "first-dollar" coverage of preventative care, which means they have to pay for iteven if you havent paid your full deductible. Under the new plan, we now have access to freetesting for conditions such as High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, and Cholesterol tests as well as Cancerscreenings, including Mammograms and Colonoscopies.4. Preserving Doctor Choice and Ensuring Emergency Care Under Health Care Reform, we continue to have the right to choose which doctors we seeand will not have to worry about being turned away from the emergency room under anycircumstances.5. Eliminating Lifetime and Annual Limits on Your Benefits There is no longer a limit on the cost of essential care. Health Care will no longer get cut offbecause of spending caps. In addition, lifetime limits on benefits and restrictive annual limits onbenefits are banned. PROVISIONS THAT GO INTO EFFECT ON JANUARY 1ST, 2014: Medicaid will cover every American earning $14,400 per year or less; this change alone will provide coverage for up to 9 million currently uninsured young adults. Tax credits will be given for purchasing health insurance to those who earn less than $43,000 per year for an individual and lack employer-sponsored insurance, and all annual limits will be banned by 2014.
Clean Air & Latinos Democracia team members the National Wildlife Federation’sNearly two-thirds of Latinos in the United Climate Team conferenceStates live in areas that have yet to meet theEnvironmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) air important and hard work of bridging move-quality standards, and because of this, face ments, networks, and cultures to advance aheightened health risks. According to the shared agenda for change. The Summit in-National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), volved a combination of panel and smallLatinos are often concentrated in metropoli- group discussions, skills training, andtan areas that have higher levels of air pollut- shared brainstorming which centered on mo-ants streaming out of machinery, power bilizing and building strong partnershipsplants, factories and vehicles. All of these around importance issues such as the Cleancan certainly lead to increased risk of asthma, Air Act.chronic bronchitis, and lunch cancer, amongothers. That’s why Democracia has taken a These joint efforts are vitally important par-lead in helping to educate the Latino commu- ticularly today, where we not only facenity on why we need to help pass a Clean Air resistance to passing a new Clean Air Act, butAct that sets strict air standards and penalties efforts to take the clean air movement backfor not meeting those standards twenty years. Case in point—current draftOn January 31st and February 1st, Democracia legislation being passed around in the Con- gress would strip the Environmental Protec-joined the National Wildlife Federation’s Fair tion Agency of its power to regulate green-Climate Team which hosted 70 community house gases and carbon emissions under theleaders from 21 states at its first National FairClimate Summit. It was a national gathering Clean Air Act. We can’t let legislation like this succeed.of leaders from a diversity of cultures (NativeAmerican, Latino, Black, Asian), backgrounds What can you do? Go to our site:and disciplines—faith, business, environ-mental justice, education, civic engage- www.mydemocracia.orgment—who came together to begin the Want to read more? We recommend these online sources: www.goverdeahora.org www.nrdc.org www.1sky.org www.nwf.org www.epa.gov
DEMOCRACIA SUES FLORIDAGOVERNOR RICK SCOTT OVERFAIR DISTRICTSOn February 3rd, 2011, Democracia Inc. , along with Fair Districts Now, the Florida NAACP,and the Florida League of Women Voters, filed suit against Governor Rick Scott (R-FL). Thispast election, Democracia was instrumental in helping to pass Amendments 5 and 6 on theFlorida ballot. The Amendments create rules that prevent the current practice of gerryman-dering (drawing congressional districts to favor one political party over the other) that has runrampant in the State for the past several decades. 63% of Florida voters voted in favor of theamendments which are now officially part of the Florida Constitution. As all ballot initiativesthat are successful, they were forwarded to the U.S. Department of Justice for legal pre-clearance. Unfortunately, Governor Scott and Secretary of State Kurt Browning have inter-rupted that process by withdrawing the law from the process, even though the law requiresthem to obtain pre-clearance “as soon as possible.” What are they trying to accomplish? Adelay of the process so that the new rules cannot be implemented in time for the next elec-tion cycle. “Trying to subvert the will of the voters is certainly the wrong way for the Governorto start off his term. Efforts like these just go to prove that this process has been manipulatedfor way too long and that those who’ve benefited from drawing unfair districts are not goingto give up power so easily. We are confident, however, that at the end of the day, the voice ofthe people will resonate loudest,” said Jorge Mursuli, President of Democracia Inc. COLORADO’S COPYCAT The state of Colorado is the most recent example of how Arizona’s anti-immigrant legislation S.B. 1070, has picked up supporters in the way of copycat bills. Colorado’s state legislature recently introduced Senate Bill 54 (SB 54), which gives local law enforcement the authority to detain or arrest anyone they have reason to believe is in the countryillegally; and despite openly denouncing laws like SB 1070 in the past, Governor JohnHickenlooper has not publicly stated whether or not he would veto such legalization. Will theHispanic community, which comprise over 20% of the population in the State, remain quiet onthe issue? Not if Democracia can help it. Check back in next month’s newsletter for informa-tion regarding the launch of our joint campaign to fight SB 54 and if you want to add your voiceto the effort, contact Colorado State Director, Maria de Cambra: 719-242-7100. Democracia Inc. Headquarters: 2915 Biscayne Blvd. Miami, Florida 33137 (305) 573-7329 www.mydemocracia.org