Global News Journal

Beyond the World news headlines

U.S. Hispanics riled over immigrants’ healthcare exclusion

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By Tim Gaynor

President Barack Obama’s signature battle to overhaul the United States’ $2.5 trillion healthcare industry to extend coverage and lower costs for Americans has met fierce opposition from Republicans.

But a move by Democrat backers to exclude 12 million illegal immigrants from buying health coverage and restrict the participation of authorized migrants has drawn the ire of U.S. Hispanics — a bloc that overwhelmingly turned out to vote for Obama in last year’s election.

Hispanic lawmakers and activists are riled by the bill pushed in the U.S. Senate by Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat, which denies illegal immigrants the option to buy health insurance and places a five-year wait period on legal immigrants before they can access health benefits.

“When we effectively bar the immigrant community from buying private insurance, we force them further into the shadows of our society, and we relegate them to emergency room care ­at the highest cost to taxpayers,” Rep. Luis Gutierrez, an Illinois Democrat, told a conference call with reporters this week.

U.S. cancer case the best? It is if you can pay for it…

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Angela Kegler McDowell thought she was doing everything right.

A 38-year-old small business owner, she had bought her own personal health insurance and kept paying her premiums, even as they rose from $293 a month to $804 a month.

The insurance company said it had to raise her premiums when her breast cancer came back and she was forced to undergo expensive chemotherapy.

Cancer and healthcare

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The American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network says one in  four families affected by cancer claims to have put off or delay care in the last year because of cost. Nearly third of cancer patients in current treatment cut pills or skipped doses, in the past year, nearly one-quarter delayed a recommended cancer screening or treatment and 1 out of 5 did not fill a prescription.

Today we met a 38-year-old small business owner whose premiums went up and up as she got treatment for her second bout of breast cancer. Finally, her insurance company pulled the plug entirely — yes that is legal when someone has individual coverage — and she must now pay for all her followup care herself. She gave her members of  Congress an earful…

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