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California Latinos Would Gain Most from Health Care Reform

— In California, Latinos account for more than half of estimated beneficiaries, according to the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network.

The Latino population has grown expoentially in California, Texas and Arizona over the last decade. But health care for this minority hasn't kept pace. Latinos are most likely to be uninsured among all minorities in the nation. This is an expensive burden to states now.

"I think Latinos in the border states will benefit disproportionately, and well, if the Affordable Care Act is successfully implemented," said Dr. Robert Ross, president and CEO of The California Endowment. "I think you're beginning to see more support for the Affordable Care Act because of the benefits that can accrue to their community."

Health-care reform will not give benefits to undocumented immigrants -- an issue that's been hotly contested by both sides in the immigration debate.

"The undocumented will remain uninsured and our estimates are that of all the people who remain uninsured, between 40 and 50 percent of those will be undocumented," added Ross.

According to the White House, Latinos will make up roughly 28 percent of the 32 million uninsured Americans expected to gain medical coverage under health-care reform. The importance of health care reform to Latinos in California is mobilizing many in that community to fight to protect the law, which is expected to drastically change our current health disparity starting in 2014.

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