The entire nation is watching the healthcare reform debate. Some say the government should not have any further control over healthcare. However, the US Census Bureau estimated that 45.7 million people under the age of 65 did not have insurance in 2007 (senior citizens have access to US-based Medicare.)
Hispanics in particular are carefully watching the debate this summer. Some experts say health disparities among ethnic groups are great, with one in three Hispanics and one in five African-Americans not having health insurance, compared with one in eight whites.
A 2008 study showed that more than one-fourth of Hispanic adults in the US lack a usual healthcare provider, and a similar proportion report obtaining no healthcare information from medical personnel in the past year.
According to the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research (AHRQ), part of the US Department of Health and Human Services, Hispanics’ quality of healthcare – especially of those who speak little or no English – is declining. One reason is that Hispanics lack information about how to treat their illnesses and how effective these treatments are.
That’s why AHRQ provides guides online at its Effective Health Care Home site so Americans can find reliable and practical data that can inform their healthcare decisions. AHRQ also provides Spanish-language resources online.
As the national healthcare debate continues people must be informed of facts and fiction to collectively create a system that benefits us all.