Latino Health Care Disparities
Cinco de Mayo, the 5th of May, commemorates the 1862 victory at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican war. Although the war was not over until six years later, winning this battle provided a great symbolic victory. The victory also bolstered the resistance movement, wherein 2000 loyal Mexicans triumphed over the 6000 well prepared, well resourced French troops.
Cinco de Mayo celebrations across the state allow all Coloradans to celebrate the Mexican Culture and Heritage with their Latino brothers and sisters. For HCAC, working to bring universal access to health care to all Coloradans, it also provides an opportunity to focus on the complex issue of health disparity. According to the 2011 census statistics, over 21% of Coloradans are Latino and according to indicators of population health, this group experiences significant differences in health outcomes.
In Colorado, Latinos have a higher infant mortality rate, lower life expectancy, higher rates of diabetes, and are more likely to die from pneumonia or flu, cervical cancer, diabetes and liver disease than whites. As individuals, we can do something about this. Although social determinants of health are a major factor in an individuals level of health, everyone should have access to a single standard of health care, especially preventive care. Creating a single standard of health care as a matter of human right will lay the foundation for decreasing the dramatic differences in overall health across all ethnic groups in Colorado.
There are similarities between the Battle of Puebla and the efforts of Health Care for All Colorado. We are working to bring universal access to health care to all Coloradans. In this instance, the resistance forces are well prepared and resourced. We know that it will take time to win the war against these forces and existing system that allows health disparities to exist. However, we are loyal to our mission and are building a movement to insure that every Coloradan has access to health care.
You can play a role in creating this standard by supporting Ballot Initiative #12 "Health Care is a Human Right and Public Good In Colorado."