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6 in 10 Latinos Missing Out on Health Coverage in Nevada

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 By Mike CliffordContact
April 27, 2009

Las Vegas, NV – Recent studies show people of color are taking it on the chin when it comes to having access to health care in Nevada. Unequal access to health care will be the focus of a town hall meeting tonight in Las Vegas.

Launce Rake with the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN) says recent studies show Latinos, the fastest growing ethnic group in the state, are the most left out when it comes to having health coverage.

"Nearly 60 percent of the Latino population, including children and working families, have gone without health insurance at some time in the last few years. Huge portions of our population simply don't have access to health care."

Rake says the number of Latinos without health coverage is about 10 percent higher in Nevada compared to most states. The fact that many Latinos work in the building trades may be a factor, he adds.

One way to measure the lack of health coverage for Latinos in Nevada is by taking a look at how they are dying, points out Theresa Navarro of Health Care for America Now. The number one cause of death for Whites, Blacks and Native Americans is heart disease, she says, while more Latinos in Nevada die from cancer.

"That is because if they don't have insurance, they're not going to go to the doctor. So by the time they find anything wrong with the people, they're already in that stage that is cancer."

The forum is scheduled for 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Rio Convention Center. Those attending can check out new mobile health clinics that are helping to increase health care access in Clark County and rural parts of the state.

More information about the mobile clinics is available at www.NVHealthCenters.org.

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