Abrimos la línea de comunicación del Show de Raúl Brindis para hablar con el Presidente de Estados Unidos, Barack Obama, quien nos solicitó este foro para hablar sobre la Reforma al Sistema de Salud, también conocido como “Obamacare”.
Mitos y verdades de la Reforma de Salud
La entrevista comenzó clarificando aquellos mitos y verdades sobre el sistema de salud, a lo que Obama respondió que aproximadamente 8 de cada 10 personas en Estados Unidos tienen seguro médico, ya sea de su trabajo o Medicare.
Sin embargo, las estadísticas revelan que aún hay millones de personas sin seguro médico, de los cuales un buen porcentaje pertenece a la comunidad latina.
“Lo que hemos hecho es una ley en la que si no calificas para Medicare, Medicaid, o no tienes seguro en tu trabajo, puedes inscribirte para un plan de seguro médico subsidiado (…) y todo esto potencialmente por $100 o menos.”
Para inscribirte debes visitar www.cuidadodesalud.gov o llamar al número 1-800-318-2596 y buscar el plan de seguro que más te convenga.
“Cuando la gente no tiene seguro médico no nada más sufre el dolor de la enfermedad, sino también sufre el dolor de perder su casa o sus ahorros por el costo de la salud.”, agregó el Presiente Obama.
El registro en el Sistema de Salud debe llevarse a cabo antes del 31 de marzo y no necesitas ser ciudadano para hacerlo, también los residentes legales son elegibles y puedes tener la seguridad de que los datos que brindes no serán enviados al departamento de Seguridad Nacional u otra instancia que te pueda hacer sentir miedo por verte vulnerable.
¿Pueden aplicar personas con condiciones médicas ya existentes?
“En este caso no puede ser rechazado y pagarás el mismo precio incluso si tienes una enfermedad preexistente”, afirmó.
¿Hay alguna consecuencia para aquellos que no se registren?
“Si eres un ciudadano o residente legal entonces por ley debes tener seguro médico (…) así que podrías terminar con una penalidad en tus formas de impuestos por no tener seguro médico.”, señaló Obama.
¿Qué dijo Barack Obama sobre la Reforma Migratoria?
“Esta ha sido una de mis prioridades desde que fui elegido y he presionado al congreso para que tome acción (…) Finalmente, pudimos conseguir un proyecto de ley en el Senado que provea una Reforma Migratoria y un camino para la ciudadanía de millones de personas en todo el país”, dijo Obama.
“Desafortunadamente la casa de los representantes no ha aprobado dicho proyecto y para convertirlo en ley necesitamos que sea aprobado, lo que la gente puede hacer por ahora es presionar a los Republicanos que se han negado a actuar”, agregó.
¿A Obama le gusta la comida mexicana?
¡Claro! Y tanto que celebró el Día de San Valentín en un restaurante mexicano, comiendo pollo en mole, quesadillas y tamales, y le encanta el picante, según dijo en entrevista con Raul Brindis.
Transcripción de la entrevista completa
RB: Raul Brindis
PBO: President Barack Obama
RB: It’s great to have you on the show. The last time we talked to you was when you were still Senator and were running for the Presidential ticket. It is indeed an honor to have you on the show once again.
PBO: Well Raul, it’s great to talk to you. Although I have more grey hair than the last time I spoke to you.
RB: There is a lot of information but also a lot of myths about the Affordable Care Act. Can you tell the audience, Mr. President, what the main purpose of the Affordable Care Act is?
PBO: Well, as you know, Raul, about 8 in 10 Americans already have health insurance. Either they get health insurance on their job or they have Medicare, or they qualify for Medicaid. But that means millions of people still don’t have health insurance. And frankly the Latino community has more percentage of uninsured people than any other community. So, what we’ve done is passed a law that says, if you don’t qualify for Medicaid, if you don’t qualify for Medicare, if you’re not getting health insurance on the job, you can still sign up for a subsidized, health insurance plan that’s high quality health insurance. That ensures that you can visit a doctor. That if something happens, if you get sick, if you get in an accident, that you can go to the hospital and it pays your bills and you can get regular checkups. And all this you can do potentially for as little as a $100 a month or less. But in order to sign up for the plan, people have to go to the website healthcare.gov or they have to call a phone number, 1-800-318-2596. And look for yourselves to see what kind of plan is right for you and whether you qualify for subsidies. But if you do, then this can give you peace of mind because you never know what life is going to throw at you. You know, heaven forbid you get sick, somebody in your family gets sick, or you get in an accident and when people don’t have health insurance, that oftentimes means not only the pain of the illness, but it also means that you can lose your home or your savings, because of the costs of healthcare. And that’s what this is designed to prevent. But if you are going to sign up, then you need to sign up before March 31st of this year. So people only have about 6 more weeks. And frankly when I think that many in the Latino community have been suspicious of signing up for something, in part, maybe because they’re not aware that if you have a green card you qualify, you are eligible. You don’t just have to be a citizen. You can also do it if you’re a legal, permanent resident. If you have a family member who maybe is undocumented, the data that you give is not something that goes over to the Department of Homeland Security or to others so that you have to fear somehow that you are made vulnerable. So this is something that I want everybody in the community to know about. And in Houston, and in San Antonio and other parts of Texas there are places where in the community you can go to find out more information about it. But the best way to find out about it is to go the website healthcare.gov or to call 1-800-318-2596. But you have to do it before March 31st of this year.
RB: Can people with pre-existing medical conditions apply?
PBO: One of the big problems that a lot of people confront is that, you know, let’s say that 10 years ago you got cancer but you are now cancer free, many times you can no longer buy insurance because the insurance company thinks you’re too big of a risk. Or let’s say you have diabetes or some other chronic illness. Even if you have back pain sometimes insurance companies won’t cover you because they think that you will be too expensive. You cannot be refused and you will pay the same price even if you have a pre-existing condition. And I think that’s very important for people to know.
RB: We already know the deadline. But is there a consequence for those who do not register?
PBO: Well, what’s going to happen is, if you’re a U.S. citizen or a legal permanent resident, then under the law, you are supposed to get health insurance. Just like you’re supposed to get car insurance. And so you could end up having a penalty assessed on your tax forms for not having health insurance. And the reason for that is because people assume that if you get sick somebody else shouldn’t have to pay for it. And what we know is a lot of people go to the emergency rooms, they use free care. But then people who have health insurance end up having to pay. So, the best way to avoid any potential penalties is to go ahead and find a plan that’s good for you. And as I said, the best way to do that is to either call the phone number or go to healthcare.gov or you can also go to cuidadodesalud.gov.
RB: So it’s very, very important to register as soon as possible Mr. President.
PBO: Absolutely. Because if you don’t sign up by March 31st then you no longer are guaranteed the low rates that exist for this year. You’ll have to wait for the 2015 rates. And that means that you may not have health coverage when you need it.
RB: Now the issue of immigration reform. It’s hot among the Latino community, Mr. President. Do you see this reform happening before the end of your term? And is there anything the Latino community can do to help you with this reform?
PBO: Well, as you know this has been one of my top priorities since I’ve been elected. And I’ve been pushing and pushing Congress to take action. Finally we were able to get a bill passed through the Senate that provided comprehensive immigration reform and a pathway to citizenship for millions of people around the country, including in Texas who are a part of the community, and doing the right thing, and working hard, but they just don’t have papers. And unfortunately, the House of Representatives has not passed a bill yet. And for it to become law, we need the House of Representatives to pass that bill. The main thing people can do right now is put pressure on Republicans who have refused so far to act. And you know, obviously in the State of Texas, you got two Senators, Mr. Cruz and Mr. Cornyn. So far they have not supported it. But you also have many Congressmen, members of the House of Representatives on the Republican side that have not supported it yet. And I think sending a strong message to them that this is the right thing to do, it’s important to do, it’s the fair thing to do, and it will actually improve the economy and give people a chance. You know, that’s something that we really need to do. I’ve been able to prevent deportations of younger people with, the Dream Act kids, by administrative action because we don’t have the resources to round up people who are violating our immigration laws everywhere across the country. And I’m very proud of that, because those young people are wonderful, and they grew up here. And you know, they should be treated like every other American kid. But the problem is that’s just a temporary action that I’ve been taking. That’s not yet the law that’s been passed by Congress. And it doesn’t help their parents and others who are in the similar situations. So we’ve just got to keep on pushing. I believe it will get done before my Presidency is over. I’d like to get it done this year.
RB: Mr. President, anything you want to say, you want to add to the Latino community at this moment?
PBO: Well, I just want to say that, obviously we’re very proud of the work that we’ve done to help education and to help reduce the dropout rate. The dropout rate in the Latino community has dropped in half over the last 10 years. College attendance by Latino students is the highest it’s ever been in part, because we provided more financial aid. But this issue of healthcare is one that affects a lot of Latino families. And, you know, it is a lot easier to stay healthy and to make sure that your kids stay healthy if you have health insurance. And so I hope everybody knows how important this is that they find out whether they’re eligible. You know, unfortunately the State of Texas has not expanded Medicaid as far as they could do. Governor Perry, for whatever reason has decided not to. So that means that they’re going to be some people who are not eligible, even though they should be under the law just because the State of Texas is preventing them from getting health insurance. But there’s still millions of people all throughout the State of Texas and in the Latino community who stand to benefit and get high quality health insurance at affordable prices. So I hope people just go out and get the information themselves. And you know, if they go to the website or call the phone, or they can visit places in their cities and communities that will give them information about this. It will make a difference in their lives.
RB: Thank you very much for all your information and for your time. Now before we go, I have to ask you. I know you celebrated Valentine’s dinner with your wife at a Mexican restaurant, Mr. President. What is your favorite Mexican dish?
PBO: Oh listen, I like Mexican food so I can’t even choose one dish. But let’s see, what did we have? I think we had some chicken with mole sauce. And we had some quesadillas. And we had some tamales and it was all good. And you know, I was talking to my daughter Malia and we decided that if we had to choose one kind of food to eat everyday it might be Mexican food. We love it. And actually the people in the White House cook some pretty good Mexican food as well. So they’re going to have to teach me before I leave the White House. Because right now I don’t have to cook for myself. But I will when I’m not President again.
RB: Do you like spicy food or chili?
PBO: Oh absolutely. Absolutely.
RB: Good. Excellent.
PBO: So, maybe next time I’m in Texas you can tell me where to go.
RB: Please, that’ll be great.
RB: Once again, thank you, thank you very much for your time.
PBO: Thank you Raul.
RB: Have a nice day.
PBO: You too. Bye, bye.
RB: Thank you, Mr. President.