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The doctor is in, but Latinos don’t visit him

According to a newly released report by the Census Bureau, Latinos are the ethnic group least likely to visit the doctor. At first, I was somewhat surprised by this news, because I don’t hesitate to visit the doctor when I’m sick. But when I thought about it, I realized that I don’t hesitate to visit the doctor because I have health insurance.

I’ve been self-employed for most of my professional life, so I’ve been responsible for getting my own health insurance. Due to the high cost of insurance, I have gone without medical coverage at times. During these periods where I didn’t have coverage, I wouldn’t visit the doctor unless it was something I definitely couldn’t take care of with home remedies or over-the-counter medications. And, sure enough, the study also shows that Latinos are the least likely to have insurance – over 30 percent are uninsured.

According to NBC Latino:

“Hispanics often work low wage jobs or for small businesses that do not provide health insurance. In low wage jobs, they are half as likely to have insurance as non-Hispanics. Latinos are also likely to be self-employed, which makes acquiring health coverage quite difficult. And since employment disqualifies you for public programs, many Hispanics are left without public or private health care, making it difficult to visit a doctor.”

Yet, despite these statistics, the Census Bureau report shows that 33 percent of Latinos describe their health as being excellent most of the time and a study by the National Center for Health Statistics revealed that most Latinos live longer than non-Latinos.

So just imagine, if us Latinos had better access to health insurance, preventive care and prescription drugs in case of illness, we’d be able to lead healthier lives and increase our longevity.

The outcome of the upcoming election will have a great impact on the availability of affordable health insurance for self-employed and uninsured Latinos. The truth is that no one in this country should have to go without medical coverage.

About Adriana Villavicencio

Dr. Adriana Villavicencio is the youngest child of Ecuadorian immigrants. She has moved 29 times in her life, taking her on a journey from California to Bangalore, India, and New York City, where she recently earned a Ph.D. in Education Leadership and works as a Research Associate at New York University. An avid traveler, Adriana has collected experiences in four different continents and 16 different countries. But as a former high school English teacher, some of her fondest memories are those of her brilliant and brilliantly funny students in Brooklyn and Oakland. Adriana has contributed to several publications including the Daily News and, and is a managing editor for the Journal of Equity in Education. She earned a B.A. in English and an M.A. in English Education at Columbia University, and currently serves on the board of Columbia’s Latino Alumni Association (LAACU). She enjoys scary movies with red vines, Sauvignon Blanc, and her Maltese dog, Napoleon.

To learn more about Adriana’s education consulting company, please visit

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.


  1. No money. No insurance. Of course

  2. No brainer duh

  3. Right, so that’s why medical coverage needs to become more attainable for everyone.

  4. Working in a medical environment , I can tell you , we have both extremes . Those that come in for EVERYTHING and those that have waited and waited cause they just knew they’d get better !! We need to believe more in preventative medicine instead of waiting for a true illness or disease to devour us .

  5. Some people are just not aware, a LOT of them are not fully educated they think everything goes away with a simple remedy or is nothing serious because they are not familiar with their own body’s mechanism. Many factors come into play.

  6. The older generation would say because they may find something wrong

  7. Shame to say that that’s not the only reason why they don’t go to doctors . They frighten about being deported due to their status in the U.S and is to expensive to pay out of pocket :(

  8. We don’t check your ” legal ” status . Considering we’re right on the border , we see patients that ” la Cruz Roja” brings across . Never denied care . Our facility has even created a program for uninsured patients to get diagnostics / labs / even surgical procedures at much lower cost . Our community seems to really appreciate this and it’s working quite well . Every patient that walks in the door gets equal care ! Insured or uninsured .

  9. Sometimes people are not aware if this program and its nice to be able to inform them and see a look of relief that comes over them !

  10. Preventative care and healthcare for all. Period. Stay healthy – register to vote!

  11. I think there are different reasons why latinos don’t go. All who have commented above are correct. Also, I’ve found stubborness to be a cause. I know latinos who have insurance but still refuse to see a doctor. It’s that, “out of sight, out of mind mentality,” where he/she thinks that as long they don’t know nothing will be wrong with them.

  12. It’s because they think VaporRub will cure all!! j/k…actually in a doctor’s office now and I’m the only Latino here except for the receptionist!

  13. Doctors? Who needs those! We have Vicks Vapor Rub and botanicas!

  14. Another BL justification for more Obama care no doubt.

  15. Just stating the facts Mario. The Census Bureau reported the info, not BL.

  16. Very true!!
    Can i share this on my business Facebook page?

  17. You know, sadly; there IS such a thing as TOO STUPID TO LIVE

  18. Yes, the facts of course. From the Census bureau. The Obama Census bureau. That explains it. BL just distributes Obama administration propaganda like they always do-even if the article is well written. Of course poor people and many Latinos need urgent healthcare, no one is debating that. However, the Obamacare that by design will further ruin us financially is not the best answer. That should not be the end all. That being said, I pray for those who are uninsured and that there be a solution soon.

  19. No, Eric, even the mentally challenged have a right to a full life. But I think that was an attempt at humor on your part. Then it was kinda funny.

  20. Mario, I guess you’re suggesting Obama orders the Census Bureau to report whatever he wants. Interesting angle…

  21. Mario continues to show that he is a waste of oxygen.

  22. Mario; you’re a Dupe for the Right wing; what makes you think anyone believes you care about anything other than bilking the Government of Revenue or bending over and letting yourself be subjugated by the 1%…

  23. Jesse Olvera says:

    Taina, your blog post seems a bit misleading. But then again, you’re referencing U.S. Census Bureau statistics which are always misleading and don’t paint an accurate picture. Since the U.S. Census Bureau includes undocumented foreign nationals in it’s figures, the comment about “Latinos are the ethnic group least likely to visit the doctor” is a bit of a stretch. The 2010 U.S. Census Bureau puts the “Hispanic/Latino” population at 16.7%. They reported the total “Hispanic/Latino” population as 50,477,594. The breakdown for this group by race is as follows: White/Caucasian 26,735,713… Black 1,243,471… American Indian and Alaska Native 685,150… Asian 209,128… Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 58,437… Some other race 18,503,103. What people don’t take into account is that the U.S. Census asked your national origin, but it didn’t ask if you were a U.S. citizen. An estimated 12.3 million to 20 million undocumented foreign nationals were counted as citizens. According to the Pew Hispanic Center report, in 2005, 56% of illegal immigrants were from Mexico; 22% were from other Latin American countries, primarily from Central America. 13% were from Asia; 6% were from Europe and Canada; and 3% were from Africa and the rest of the world. Seventy-eight (78%) percent of the U.S. undocumented foreign nationals fall under the “Hispanic/Latino” umbrella.

    Common sense would tell you that if this study was done only with American U.S. citizens of Hispanic/Latino descent, the statistics would be drastically different. Everyone I know (family, friends and acquaintances) who are American U.S. citizens of Hispanic/Latino descent, all have health insurance. Whether it’s private health insurance. health insurance through their work, Medicare, Medicaid, Medi-cal, Outpatient Reduced-Cost Simplified Application (ORSA) Plan, etc. I also know a whole bunch of undocumented foreign nationals… some have private health insurance purchased by them privately or through their work… the majority of them do not have health insurance.

    Of course, when you add legal U.S. non-citizens/residents and undocumented foreign nationals into the mix, “Hispanics/Latinos” will come up on the top of every list, including the “ethnic group least likely to visit the doctor.”

    How would the outcome of the upcoming election have a great impact on the availability of affordable health insurance for legal U.S. non-citizens/residents and undocumented foreign nationals who fall under the “Hispanic/Latino” umbrella? The answer is there would be no impact. President Obama’s Affordable Healthcare Plan is for American U.S. citizens only. And why would American U.S. citizens be responsible for paying for the healthcare of undocumented foreign nationals who aren’t even suppose to be here anyways? As it is now, it’s taxpayers who get stuck with the medical bills of undocumented foreign nationals. Public Policy Institute of California stated that in 2011, undocumented foreign nationals made up about 28 percent of all foreign born U.S. redisents and slightly less than 4 percent of the nation’s total population. Guess you picked up the bill for these births?

    The so-called “individual mandate” requires Americans to have health insurance or face a financial penalty. What makes you think that for those who can’t afford health insurance now, will be able to afford health insurance when the “individual mandate” goes into effect. People I’ve spoken to who can’t afford it now, have told me they won’t be able to afford it when the “individual mandate” goes into effect.

    One more thing. To whoever runs this page… I believe that when some of the Being Latino contributors, writers and moderators other than the actual author of the blog replying to comments, leave comments as readers, such as Nick Baez did on this blog posts, puts into question the legitimacy and credibility of this website. It makes me wonder if the comments left on this site are from legitimate readers. The comment made to Mr. Mario Ramirez, posted above by Mr. Baez, a Being Latino contributor, is extremely rude and unprofessional.

  24. Jesse Olvera says:

    *Correction… Public Policy Institute of California stated that in 2011, undocumented foreign nationals made up about 28 percent of all foreign born U.S. *residents and slightly less than 4 percent of the nation’s total population. Guess *who picked up the bill for these births?

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