Huffpost Politics

States Struggle To Add Latinos To Health Rolls

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Dr. Esteban Lovato performs a routine check-up on a patient at the La Loma Medical Center in Oakland, California, U.S., on Friday, Jan. 31, 2014. Enrollment has lagged among Latinos in California, a key demographic thats critical to the success of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and in the most populous U.S. state that was among the first to embrace the government-run program aimed at offering health care to uninsured Americans. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via G | Bloomberg via Getty Images

LOS ANGELES — With an estimated 15 percent of the country’s uninsured population, California is crucial to the success of President Obama’s health care overhaul. Here, that success cannot come without enrolling Latinos, who make up more than half of the state’s uninsured.

But so far, enrollment of Latinos has fallen strikingly below the hopes of the law’s proponents, accounting for 20 percent or fewer of those who had signed up on the state-run health insurance exchange by the end of December. Now, state officials are rushing to expand marketing efforts and hire additional Spanish-speaking staff, hoping to sharply increase that number by March 31, when open enrollment in the new insurance plans ends.

Read the whole story at The New York Times

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