Massachusetts Health Coverage Experts to Advise Local Latinos on ACA

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Carlos Solis, Maria Gonzalez to be joined by Marguerite Salazar for Adelante con la Salud meeting.

A newly-formed local group, Adelante con la Salud, focused on improving Latino’s access to healthcare services is bringing representatives from Massachusetts to Denver to discuss how Colorado’s Latinos can ensure they get the health care coverage they are entitled to as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

“We held off on bringing Carlos Solis and Maria Gonzalez to Denver until we could learn how the U.S. Supreme Court would rule on the ACA,” explained Melanie Herrera Bortz, co-project director for Adelante con la Salud: Latino Health Care Engagement Project. “Now that the court has ruled, it’s time for everyone, including Latinos, to understand the benefits of the health care law.”

Carlos Solis, who is bilingual, is a navigator for Health Care for All Massachusetts, a consumer health care advocacy organization. As a HelpLine supervisor, Solis has helped thousands of Latinos in Massachusetts’s secure health care coverage. “The ACA was in many ways modeled after Massachusetts’ health care law, so having Mr. Solis here will be invaluable for Colorado’s Latino community,” Herrera Bortz said.

“I am looking forward to go to Denver to have the opportunity to talk to members of the Colorado Latino community. There is a lot to learn from the Massachusetts’ model, especially for Latinos, and I would like to share our experience with people there who will benefit,” said Carlos Solis.

Maria Gonzalez is the communications director at Health Care Financing Administration and will be also available to discuss how the Massachusetts’ law has impacted thousands of Hispanics in the northeastern state and what Latinos in Colorado should expect with the full implementation of the ACA. “The Hispanic population in Massachusetts has benefited the most from the health care reform that was approved in 2006, and we anticipate that this group will also be positively impacted by the federal law in states such as Colorado,” said Gonzalez.

Solis and Gonzalez will be joined during media interviews by local health care expert Marguerite Salazar, the regional director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“The ACA is vital to the health of the Latino community because it will provide access to care for thousands of Latinos and will provide free preventive services like diabetes screenings and mammograms,” Herrera Bortz said. “Our organization believes the ACA will do for Colorado Latinos what the Massachusetts health care law did for Latinos there, we just need to educate our community. In Massachusetts, coverage for Latinos skyrocketed.”

Currently, 98 percent of MA residents are now insured and very few people (less than one percent in 2008) are paying a penalty for not having coverage. In addition, the state’s total health care bill has increased less than other states.

About Adelante con la Salud
Adelante con la Salud: Latino Health Care Engagement Project is a newly formed collaborative of passionate, experienced local advocates dedicated to educating Latinos in Colorado about the benefits of The Affordable Care Act and the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange using media and grassroots advocacy. The bilingual campaign will reach statewide. The group is supported financially by Community Catalyst and the Herndon Alliance.

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Erich Kirshner
Kirshner Communications
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