‘Obamacare’ Outreach to Latinos Gets Boost as SEIU Latino Doctors, Members Launch Nationwide Campaign

In MTV-Style Online Video, Telegenic Docs Urge Latinos in a Dozen States to “Ask Questions, Get Answers, Get Covered”

WASHINGTON–(ENEWSPF)–September 26, 2013. Two dynamic and telegenic Hispanic doctors on the frontlines of delivering healthcare to their community today hosted a teleconference to launch a new SEIU online video campaign about the federal and state health insurance marketplaces that open for enrollment Tuesday (Oct. 1).

The online launch is part of a wider, shoe-leather-style SEIU outreach strategy to spread the word to Latinos, a community with the highest share of people without health insurance in most states. SEIU members will reach out to Latinos in more than a dozen states (CA, CO, CT, FL, IL, MD, MA, MI, NM, NY, PA, RI, TX, WA) about the new healthcare coverage options soon available to them under the Affordable Care Act.

“I have members of my own family who are hearing about the new healthcare law from their employers and asking me about it,” says Dr. Say Salomón, an internal medicine resident in a Brooklyn hospital whose parents emigrated from the Dominican Republic. “People of all ages in our community want to know who to turn to for information. That’s why it’s important to get the word out.”

The lively, graphics-intense Spanish videoavailable in English too — is the first in a two-part series about lower-cost and no-cost coverage the new healthcare law makes available to millions of working people, those who don’t get insurance through their employers and can’t afford it on their own. The enthusiastic Dr. Salomón appears in 90- and 30-second versions of the videos alongside Dr. Michelle Espinoza, the chief family medicine resident at a Queens hospital, whose family ties are to Argentina.

“Although the healthcare law’s inevitable now, not everybody knows about it – not even in the healthcare community,” Dr. Salomón said. “People aren’t yet clear on the basics – they think it’s a government program and don’t realize that the marketplaces are run with private insurers. They compete against each other and that’s what’s lowering costs already.”

The outreach to Latinos and the new videos – which quickly cover the important basic benefits of the new law and how to sign up for coverage – are part of a larger national outreach campaign by SEIU to reach out to 2 million citizens nationwide in coming months.

SEIU President Mary Kay Henry announced the overall national outreach strategy earlier this month with U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and a Pittsburgh area nurse leader. SEIU doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, childcare providers and other SEIU members are already talking with their friends, co-workers and neighbors in more than 30 major metropolitan areas in 20 states, with a focus on reaching hard-working, African-American and Latino Americans over 35 years old.

In joining other national Latino healthcare advocates reaching out to uninsured Latinos, outgoing SEIU General Secretary Eliseo Medina said the new law could be a “life-changer” for the Latino community. An estimated 30 percent of Latinos under age 65 are uninsured in most states, according to new census data.

Outreach to Latinos on their new healthcare options is already working. “We are confident that when they hear the facts, they will sign up, and we will have a healthier community and workforce that will be good for all of us,” Medina said.

Both doctors in the outreach video are among the 13,000 members of the Committee of Interns and Residents of SEIU Healthcare. Members affiliated with both public and private hospitals nationwide will join in the video and social media campaign.

As of Tuesday (Oct. 1), millions of working people who don’t get health insurance through their employers will be able to buy affordable insurance through the new healthcare marketplaces, where insurers compete against each other. The Spanish web site link for it is www.cuidadodesalud.gov.

Next week the SEIU Healthcare doctors will launch a second series of videos for Latinos about the Medicaid coverage available to more people under the Affordable Care Act, health coverage that provides life-saving care to low-income working people who can’t afford to buy insurance.

Source: seiu.org