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.