‘El Círculo de la Vida’ Campaña para Prepararse a Cuidar a Sus Seres Queridos

November 20, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

Hace cuatro años, Rodolfo Valle no se sentía bien, así que junto a su esposa Betty fueron a ver a su médico, quien le dijo que tiene la enfermedad de Parkinson, una enfermedad incurable.

Aunque estaban impactados por el diagnóstico, los Valle se sintieron aliviados de por fin saber lo que estaba pasando. Sin embargo, un diagnóstico por sí solo no puede preparar a alguien para el duro trabajo que viene con el cuidado de una persona con una enfermedad debilitante.

A sus 86 años de edad, Betty se ha mantenido muy activa desde que se retiró del trabajo en el campo a los 60 años. Sin embargo, Betty ha tenido que hacer grandes cambios en su vida para cuidar a su esposo de 76 años de edad, quien tiene dificultad para caminar y ha desarrollado últimamente problemas de perdida de memoria.

Read this story in English: ‘The Circle of LIfe’-Preparing for the Job of Caretaker

El nuevo trabajo “no remunerado” de Betty incluye llevar su marido a citas con el médico, la preparación de su comida y la supervisión cuando él realiza algunos quehaceres, como ayudarle a calcular los pagos de facturas.

“Él no retiene las cosas”, Betty le dijo a EGP. “Si le digo algo, se le olvida unos minutos más tarde, pero él no quiere mucha ayuda y se frustra”, agregó.

La participación de Betty en su comunidad y su trabajo voluntario le han ayudado a que su transición de trabajo en casa cuidando a su marido sea más fácil, pero muchos latinos no están preparados.

De acuerdo al estudio “Prestación de Cuidados en EE.UU.” conducido por la Alianza Nacional de Prestación de Cuidados y AARP, cerca de 44 millones de americanos—1 en 5 adultos—cuida a alguien que es 50 años o mayor.

“En California hay alrededor de 4 millones de cuidadores [trabajando] sin un sueldo”, Blanca E. Castro, supervisora de defensa para AARP dijo durante una reunión con los medios de comunicación la semana pasada. En hogares latinos, la mayoría de ‘cuidadoras’ son mujeres.

“El trabajo de prestación de cuidados principalmente consiste en llevar a los [pacientes/seres queridos] al doctor, al mercado o a hacer mandados”, dijo Castro. Pero el trabajo puede ser más difícil cuando la salud de las personas se deteriora.

Representantes de AARP hablann sobre la importancia de cuidar a los seres queridos. (EGP foto de Jacqueline García)

Representantes de AARP hablann sobre la importancia de cuidar a los seres queridos. (EGP foto de Jacqueline García)

AARP, una organización no partidista, no lucrativa que se dedica a mejorar la calidad de vida para personas de 50 años o mayores, encontró que los latinos tienden a no pensar en ellos mismos como trabajadores cuando cuidan a sus familiares.

Más bien, el cuidado de un ser querido “es parte de su crianza”, por lo que no toman descanso en el trabajo ni piensan en el impacto que ese trabajo puede tener en su vida.

La semana pasada, AARP anunció el lanzamiento de “El Círculo de la Vida”, una nueva campaña destinada a ayudar a “las familias hispanas a navegar” en momentos de incertidumbre con sus seres queridos y a la búsqueda de “Herramientas y Recursos” en la página de AARP. La campaña incluye una serie de anuncios de Internet que muestran a los padres que cuidan de sus hijos en el pasado y los niños—convertidos en adultos—cuidando a sus padres en el presente.

“Somos una población cada vez con mayor número personas de edad avanzada y las próximas generaciones están teniendo menos hijos, por lo que nuestras personas mayores tienen menos ayuda”, dijo Castro. “Por esa razón, queremos crear conciencia [de este hecho] para que los legisladores vean [el cuidado de los ancianos] como una prioridad”, explicó.

Betty y su esposo—ambos nacidos en EE.UU. de descendencia mexicana—están viendo esta dificultad de primera mano. Betty dice que la mayoría del apoyo que recibe viene de dos de sus cuatro hijos. “Ellas me ayudan monetariamente y vienen y nos visitan tan a menudo como pueden”, dijo. Pero a veces es difícil debido a que están “ocupados con sus vidas” y tienen muy poco tiempo libre, agregó Betty.

Betty dice que el trabajo es duro y estresante a veces, pero está agradecida por la ayuda que su marido recibe del Hospital de Casa Colina en Pomona, AARP, y una vecina que se ha convertido en una aliada.

“Si tengo que ir al doctor o a la tienda, ella lo cuida”, dijo Betty despreocupada.

Pero de acuerdo a expertos, muchos de quienes cuidan a familiares están más enfocados en el cuidado que le dan a alguien más que se les olvida cuidarse a sí mismos, algo que AARP dice que es vital.

La organización de membresía provee información en inglés y español para discutir la importancia de hacer ambas cosas a la vez.

La guía “Cuidando a los Nuestros” ofrece información importante a los cuidadores y a sus familiares, incluyendo:

  • Cómo tener una conversación sobre problemas de salud, financieros, legales o emocionales
  • Saber donde están los documentas importantes como testamentos, información de propiedad (si existe alguna)
  • Buscar recursos comunitarios como el localizador de cuidados para personas mayores www.eldercare.gov para encontrar información de transporte, comidas a domicilio, servicios diurnos para mayores de edad, etc.
  • Utilizar tecnología incluyendo aplicaciones de teléfonos inteligentes, aparatos de monitoreo y agendas electrónicas.

Con las fechas festivas acercándose, Betty dice que esta contenta que toda su familia, incluyendo sus 10 nietos, 9 bisnietos y 4 tataranietos estarán visitando; sus hijas prepararán la cena.

Sin embargo, ella se preocupa el que haya mucha gente debido a que puede afectar la salud de su esposo. “Él se pone muy nervioso y algunas veces se siente excluido por que no puede caminar”, dijo Betty. “Mis hijos también se preocupan por mi salud”, agregó.

Betty sirve de cuidadora de su esposo Rodolfo, quien padece de Parkinsons y perdida de memoria. (Cortesía de Anai Ibarra, AARP.)

Betty sirve de cuidadora de su esposo Rodolfo, quien padece de Parkinsons y perdida de memoria. (Cortesía de Anai Ibarra, AARP.)

El Centro de Recursos de AARP provee información tal como el contactar a un experto para consejos, localizar y compartir consejos de otras personas que cuidan a seres queridos, cuidar a el ‘cuidador’ y otros problemas relacionados para quienes están cuidando a una persona mayor.

Las estadísticas demuestran que las personas que cuidan a sus familiares pasan alrededor de 20 horas por semana asistiéndolos, lo cual es igual a un trabajo de tiempo parcial o un año en escuela de enfermería. Castro dijo que es importante para la persona mayor y para quienes lo cuidan que consideren las casas de asistencia.

Betty le dijo a EGP que ella ha estado pensando muy seriamente el mudarse a una casa de personas mayores o a un complejo habitacional donde ella y su esposo obtengan más ayuda. “No podemos cuidar esta casa tan grande, yo no puedo hacer todo el trabajo”, dijo Betty. “Ya no estoy joven”.

En EE.UU. un tercio de hogares hispanos reportaron tener al menos un miembro de la familia cuidando a su ser querido. Los expertos dicen que los miembros de la familia que no reciben pagos son el respaldo del sistema de cuidados de America. Y, quienes cuidan a sus seres queridos “enfrentan obstáculos a cada paso del camino”, de acuerdo al estudio Evercare ACA 2008, The New York Times’ Strains of Hispanic Caregivers.

Betty dice que cuidar a su esposo se ha vuelto mas complicado. “[Su] discapacidad se ha vuelto más [pronunciada] y se vuelve muy estresante porque él se siente incompetente” dijo Betty.

El lidiar con la enfermedad de un ser querido es cuestión de mantenerse involucrado y educado, dice Betty. Cuando el doctor les explicó que la enfermedad no era curable, Betty dijo que ella “solo oró al Señor”, y con el tiempo se ha ido adaptando.

“Solo necesitas saber apreciar la vida y no darte por vencido, siempre hay una solución”, dijo con firmeza.

Para encontrar más información sobre el Centro de Recursos de AARP visite www.aarp.org/cuidar  o llame al 888-971-2013. Se les anima a las personas también a compartir sus historias en Facebook o Twitter con el hashtag #aarpcuidar.

—-

Twitter @jackieguzman

jgarcia@egpnews.com

November 20, 2014 Issue

November 20, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

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Vernon CommUNITY Fund Awards First Grants

November 20, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Following through on their good neighbor policy, the city of Vernon is awarding nearly a quarter million dollars in grants to nonprofits serving nearby southeast communities.

Stephanie Mesones, director of development at the East Los Angeles Women’s Center, told EGP their grant from Vernon will “help fill gaps in services” at the center dedicated to providing counseling to domestic violence and sexual assault victims.

The center is the only applicant that will receive the full amount they requested, and Mesones says it will make a difference in the lives of nearly 75 socially-economically challenged families.

“There is a long waiting list of calls for individual counseling, but we don’t have that many counselors,” she said.

Middle school children recieve books donated by the Rio Hondo Vernon Rotary Club. A grant by the Vernon CommUNITY fund will help the nonprofit purchase more books in the coming year. (Photo courtesy of Rio Hondo Vernon Rotary Club)

Middle school children recieve books donated by the Rio Hondo Vernon Rotary Club. A grant by the Vernon CommUNITY fund will help the nonprofit purchase more books in the coming year. (Photo courtesy of Rio Hondo Vernon Rotary Club)

The $54,000 grant the center is expected to receive will be used to try to hire more part time counselors and to expand the center’s services, which currently include a 24-hour bilingual hotline, rape kits, support groups, parenting classes, free HIV testing and other programs aimed at workforce development.

“The grant changed our view of how industrial Vernon is because they are giving back to the community to provide services that a lot of their employees may need,” said Mesones about the city that only has about 112 residents but more than 50 thousand people who work their during the day.

For the last couple of years, Vernon has been working on a plan to fund community projects that will benefit people living or working in the industrial city. It’s part of a key good governance reform initiative to improve relations with nearby cities that are impacted by Vernon businesses.

On Tuesday, the Vernon City Council approved $244,500 in grants recommended by the Vernon Community Fund Grant Committee. The first round of grants were awarded to six non-profits, with awards ranging from $12,500 to $60,000: California’s Children’s Academy, $60,000; East Los Angeles Women’s Center, $54,000; Boy Scouts of Los Angeles-L.A. Chapter, $48,000; Southeast Rio Vista YMCA, $35,000; Plaza Community Services, $35,000; and Rio Hondo Vernon Rotary Club, $12,500.

“Vernon was always a commercial area but they have always connected with the people that work there,” said Dennis Grizzle, president of the Rio Hondo-Vernon Rotary Club. “They are very good neighbors.”

Grizzle told EGP the $12,500 match grant the rotary club foundation is expected to receive will be used to purchase books for local schools surrounding the city of Vernon. The award will be a significant source of funding to the foundation, which currently has an annual budget of about $38,000, which is used to purchase books, fund twenty $500 college scholarships and to pay for other community service projects.

For the 2014-2015 Fiscal Year, the city allocated $1 million for the Vernon CommUNITY Fund. The committee overseeing the fund is expected to award a maximum of $250,000 in grants at three of its quarterly meetings. The remaining $250,000 will be used or reserved to fund capital projects in the area, such as the Hon. Kevin de León soccer field in Huntington Park completed with funds from Vernon earlier this year.

People pick out five free articles of clothing at a weekly clothes distribution by Plaza Community Services in East Los Angeles last week. The non profit will recieve a grant  by the Vernon CommUNITY Fund to help continue the service. (Photo courtesy of Plaza Community Services )

People pick out five free articles of clothing at a weekly clothes distribution by Plaza Community Services in East Los Angeles last week. The non profit will recieve a grant by the Vernon CommUNITY Fund to help continue the service. (Photo courtesy of Plaza Community Services )

The nonprofit Plaza Communities Services, which provides housing, employment and other human services, will use its $35,000 grant to pay employees in their “A Trabajar! (To Work!)” Program. The program collects donations of work appropriate clothing from throughout Los Angeles County, which it then distributes weekly to job seekers at its East LA center, located in Boyle Heights.

“The grant will help continue that service,” said Gabriel Buelna executive director of A Trabajar!

Nearly 200 people receive five free articles of clothing every week, they are also connected to the website www.thenonprofitnetwork.org if they need help finding a job.

“It creates a more tranquil environment if a person doesn’t need to buy new clothes to get a job, that reduces stress,” Buelna said.

Nonprofits and government agencies based in Bell, Boyle Heights, Commerce, Huntington Park, Maywood and Unincorporated East Los Angeles, or which serve residents in those areas are eligible to apply online for grants ranging from $5,000 to $250,000. Funding for events or sponsorships will not be considered.

“Not many people live in Vernon,” said Buelna. “These awards help local communities benefit from the wealth developed there.”

The six non-profits will receive grant funds once they complete and sign a grant agreement. The next grant committee review is scheduled for February.

‘The Circle of Life’ – Preparing for the Job of Caretaker

November 20, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

About four years ago, Rodolfo Valle felt something was wrong, so with his wife Betty by his side he went to see his doctor, who told he has Parkinsons disease, an incurable illness.

Although shaken by the diagnosis, the Valles were relieved to finally know what was going on. But a diagnosis alone can’t prepare you for the hard work that comes with caring for someone with a debilitating illness.

At 86-years-old, Betty has stayed very active since retiring from the farm work at age 60. But Betty has had to make some big changes in her life to care for her 76-year-old husband, who has difficulty walking and has lately developed memory problems.

Lea este artículo en Español: ‘El Círculo de la Vida’ Campaña para Prepararse a Cuidar a Sus Seres Queridos

Betty’s new “unpaid” job includes taking her husband to doctor’s appointments, preparing his food and overseeing his share of chores, such as helping him calculate bill payments.

“He doesn’t retain things anymore,” Betty told EGP. “If I tell him something, he forgets it a few minutes later, but he doesn’t want too much help and gets frustrated,” she said.

Betty’s community involvement and volunteer work helped her transition to the job of caregiver easier, but many Latinos aren’t as ready.

According to the study “Caregiving in the U.S.” conducted by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, about 44 million Americans—1 in 5 adults—take care of someone who’s 50 or older.

Betty, right, who serves as her husband’s caregiver, pictured left, spends quality time at home.  (Courtesy of Anai Ibarra, AARP.)

Betty, right, who serves as her husband Rodolfo’s caregiver, spends quality time at home. (Courtesy of Anai Ibarra, AARP.)

“In California, there are about 4 million caregivers [working] without pay,” Blanca E. Castro, manager of advocacy for AARP said during a meeting with the media last week. In Latino homes, most caregivers are women.

“ A caregivers’ job mainly consists of taking [patients/loved ones] to the doctor, grocery shopping or to run other errands,” said Castro. But the job can become harder as a person’s health deteriorates.

AARP, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to quality of life issues for people 50 and older, found that Latinos tend to not think of themselves as caregivers, which they see as a job. Rather, caring for a loved one “is part of their upbringing,” so they don’t take breaks or think about the toll the job is having on their life.

Last week, AARP announced the launch of “The Circle of Life,” a new campaign aimed at helping “Hispanic families navigate” uncertain times with their loved ones and finding “tools and resources” on AARP’s website. The campaign includes a series of Internet commercials portraying parents taking care of their children in the past and children taking care of their parents in present time. The campaign and resources are available in Spanish.

“We are a growing population of elderly and the next generations are having less kids, so our elders have less help,” said Castro. “For that reason, we want to raise awareness [of that fact] so policy makers see [elder care] as a priority,” she explained.

Betty and her husband—both U.S. born citizens of Mexican descendant—are seeing the difficulty first hand. Betty says most of the support she receives comes from two of their four children.  “They help me money wise and come and check up on us as often as they can,” she said. They are all “busy with their lives” and have very little time for visiting, Betty said.

The work is tough and stressful at times and Betty says she is grateful for the help her husband receives from the Casa Colina Hospital in Pomona, AARP, and a neighbor who has become a great ally when she needs help.

“If I have to go to the doctor or the market, she checks up on him,” said Betty.

But according to the experts, many caregivers are so focused on the care they give someone else that they fail to care for themselves, which AARP says is vitally important.

The membership organization provides information in English and Spanish that discusses the importance of doing both things at once. The booklet “Prepare to Care” offers caregivers and their loved ones important information, such as:

• How to have an open conversation about health, financial, legal, or emotional issues

• Know where important documents such as will and testaments, property information, etc. are located

• Look for community resources such as Eldercare Locator www.eldercare.gov to find transportation, meals at home, adult day services, etc.

• Use technology including phone apps, monitoring devices and electronic agendas

With the holidays approaching, Betty says she is happy that all her family, including her 10 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren and 4 great-great-grandchildren will be visiting and her daughters will be cooking dinner.

However, she worries about the effect having so many people around will have on her husband. “He gets very nervous and sometimes he feels left out because he can’t walk,” Betty says. “My children are concerned about my health too,” she adds.

The AARP’s Caregiving Resource Center provides information such as how to contact an expert for advise, locating and sharing caregiver advice, care for the caregiver and other issues.

Statistics show that caregivers spend about 20 hours per week assisting a loved one, which is equal to a part-time job or one year of nursing school. Castro said it is important for the elderly and their caregivers to be willing to consider assisted living homes.

Betty says she’s been seriously considering moving to senior housing where she and her husband can get more help. “We cannot take care of this big house, I can’t do all the work,” Betty said. “I’m not young anymore.”

In the U.S., one third of Hispanic households report having at least one family member who is a caregiver. Experts say unpaid family members are the backbone of America’s long-term care system.

However, caregivers “face challenges every step of the way,” according to the Evercare study ACA 2008, The New York Times’ Strains of Hispanic Caregivers

Betty says caring for her husband has become more complicated of late. “[His] disability has become more [pronounced] and it becomes very stressful [because] he feels incompetent,” she said.

Dealing with a loved one’s illness is just a matter of getting involved and educated, according to Betty. When the doctor explained that Rodolfo’s illness is incurable, Betty said she “just prayed to the Lord,” and with time she has been able to deal with it.

Over time, Betty has come to accept that she also needs time for herself. She says she enjoys going out for a walk, visiting a new place or exercising a little bit.

“You just need to appreciate life and never give up, there is always a solution,” says Betty resolutely.

To find more information about AARP Caregiving Resource Center visit www.aarp.org/caregiving or call 877-333-5885. People are also encouraged to share their stories via Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #aarpcuidar.

—-

Twitter @jackieguzman

jgarcia@egpnews.com

Obama to Act on Immigration

November 20, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Southland immigrant-rights groups are anxiously awaiting specifics of President Barack Obama’s plans to take executive action on immigration, which is likely to protect millions of people living in the country illegally from deportation.

Obama is scheduled to deliver a nationwide address on the topic at 5 p.m. today, then rally support for his proposal at a Friday morning event in Las Vegas.

Members of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles will be holding a watch party for both events at the group’s office.

The White House has not released any specifics of the executive order.

In a video posted on the White House Facebook page, saying he is taking action because Congress “has allowed the problem to fester for far too long.”

“And so what I’m going to be laying out is the things that I can do with my lawful authority as president to make the system work better, even as I continue to work with Congress to encourage them to get a bipartisan, comprehensive bill that can solve the entire problem,” he said.

President Barrack Obama Wednesday announcing plans to discuss immigration tomorrow. (The White House)

President Barrack Obama Wednesday announcing plans to discuss immigration tomorrow. (The White House)

Citing Washington officials, the Associated Press (AP) reported Wednesday “As many as 5 million people in the country illegally would be spared from deportation and made eligible for work permits. But the eligible immigrants would not be entitled to federal benefits – including health care tax credits – under the plan.”

It is widely expected the president’s plan will closely resemble his executive order issued in 2012 that deferred deportation of young undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children for 18 months, provided they were in school or had received a high school diploma or its equivalent. They are not allowed to receive government assistance, including food stamps, welfare, disability payments under Social Security or tax breaks or assistance for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

“We have worked hard, paid taxes and have unfairly suffered the scourge of deportations and family separation,” said Carlos Vaquerano, executive director of the Salvadoran American Leadership and Education Fund in Los Angeles. “Millions of us have started families in this great nation that we love and now call home. We are the parents of U.S. citizens and we deserve the right to live normal lives.”

Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar said the fear of deportation has been “an unconscionable burden” for millions of immigrants.

“As immigrants, my family and I were fortunate to receive U.S. residency after the birth of my brother here in the U.S. under a policy that no longer exists, otherwise we might’ve been torn apart as a family,” Huizar said. “… Separating families goes against everything this great country stands for. While comprehensive immigration reform is the ultimate goal, the president’s anticipated actions will help keep families together.”

Republicans have promised to challenge the president’s authority to take executive action on immigration, but a slew of legal experts have during the last couple of weeks defended the president’s power to halt deportations.

During a recent gathering of the conservative legal organization the Federalist Society, the consensus was the president does have the legal authority to proceed with executive action, reported Sam Stein of the Huffington Post.

According to Philip Wolgin of the Center for American Progress, every single president since Dwight Eisenhower has taken executive action on immigration issues – on 39 different occasions over the past 60 years.

Republican leaders in Washington, including House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, has said congressional progress on immigration has stalled due to the GOP belief that Obama will fail to enforce whatever laws are enacted.

“It is sad and disappointing that — faced with this challenge —President Obama won’t work with us, but is instead intent on going it alone with executive orders that can’t and won’t fix these problems,” Boehner said.

Boehner and other Republicans have vowed to attempt to overturn whatever action the president takes.

“If ‘Emperor Obama’ ignores the American people and announces an amnesty plan that he himself has said over and over again exceeds his constitutional authority, he will cement his legacy of lawlessness and ruin the chances for congressional action on this issue, and many others,” Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said.

Sen Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., noted, however, that Republicans in Congress never expressed such outrage when President Ronald Reagan legalized 3 million immigrants in 1986 or when President George H.W. Bush halted deportations of more than 1.5 million people.

“I’ll tell you, President Bush’ Family Fairness policy, the executive action he took, was sweeping,” Boxer said. “It affected more than 40 percent of the undocumented population in the United States at the time. He thought big, George Bush Sr., he thought big. And this president should think big.”

Hundreds of people walk the streets of Los Angeles during an immigration demonstration. (EGP Photo Archive)

Hundreds of people walk the streets of Los Angeles during an immigration demonstration. (EGP Photo Archive)

While many immigrant rights groups are welcoming action by the president and say any action he takes will be a step in the right direction, several groups expressed concern that the president’s order would still leave 5 to 6 million undocumented people in the shadows, fearing deportation.

“Rumors of Presidential Executive Action helping only 5 million would not even deal with half of the problem we currently face,” said Arturo Carmona, Executive Director of Presente.org. “The fact of the matter is that Republicans will show no mercy regardless of whether it is a comprehensive or partial solution,” Carmona said in a written statement.

“This week, the President has a historic opportunity to right his previous betrayals of the Latino community and lead the Democratic Party and Latinos back together. For that, we need a broad and inclusive executive order that begins to protect all 11 million undocumented immigrants.”

 

Information from City News Service used in this report.

President to Break Immigration Status Quo Today: It’s About Time

November 20, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s been a long time coming.

President Obama will tonight lay out details of executive action he will take on immigration reform, which is unlikely to be comprehensive but will nonetheless make a change in the status qou caused by the Congress’ failure to take action.

Of course there will be those who will object to anything less than a comprehensive path to citizenship for all 11 million of the people in the country without authorization, just as there will loud objections from those who are angry President Obama is taking any action at all.

The president, according to sources citing information from White House officials, is expected to announce to the country today that he will allow as many as 5 million people to remain in the country without the threat of deportation.

As the time this editorial was written, few “official” details of the president’s executive order, or orders, on immigration were available. What is clear is that the president has for months said he would use executive action in the fall to offer some kind of reprieve to some of the undocumented in the country.

Most political observers believe President Obama will extend deportation reprieves to the parents of American citizens and who have been in the country for at least five years.

This makes sense to us, since it’s likely anyone who has been in the country for five or more years has already established roots in the U.S.

Those who qualify for the special legal status, will be free from the threat of deportation – for how long is not clear- but they will not be eligible for health care benefits or food stamps among other federal benefits.

It seems to us that those covered by the deferral should be able to buy health care insurance if they can afford it.

Just as we believe driver’s licenses for the undocumented will make our streets safer, we believe health care services for the undocumented will help put a stop to the extremely costly over use of hospital emergency rooms as primary care facilities.

All California residents should be allowed to purchase some type of primary care services form local health providers through some kind of insurance plan.

For now, we’ll just have to wait for more details on Obama’s expected announcement on immigration, and hope that it gets the ball rolling on a comprehensive plan to reform immigration and legalizing the status of people now forced to live in the shadows.

Can Hispanics Survive Obama’s Political Suicide?

November 20, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Is it a “Clash of Titans,” or a Titanic crash? President Barack Obama is about to test the limits of the U. S. Constitution-backed government “of the people, by the people and for the people.”

Immigration reform has created a deep political fissure in the country where one side favors reform and has for several years and another opposes it. Support comes from Democrats and Republicans, from Anglos, Hispanics/Latinos, Asians and registers overwhelmingly and consistently in national surveys.

Anti-reform people talk about enforcing outdated immigration law designed decades ago; i.e. they demand 100% deportation without answering how could we possibly deport 11-12 million people?

They talk about terrorists flooding across a “porous border” intending to frighten people miles and many states away from the border. They talk of rising crime, destruction of a sovereign United States and “invasion” by Brown Hordes with “scabies.”

 

On Election Day, 57% of American voters told Exit Pollsters for the major networks that they support immigration reform.

At this moment, however, the only people who count are House Republicans and the President of the United States, about 250 people not the majority of Americans that favor immigration reform.

The President says he is going to reform the immigration system by himself in the coming days by issuing an executive order that – according to the New York Times (NYT)- “protect” up to 4-5 million people from deportation who are here illegally based on length of time in the U.S., children who are U.S. citizens and a non-criminal status. The leaks also indicate that those working here should be granted work visas applied for by employers.

 

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) call this “amnesty.” Without knowing the details we cannot comment on whether the Obama plan is “amnesty.” These men and their allies in Congress will campaign against the President’s plan as “amnesty” no matter what the details are.

Before the President unveils his plan to legalize by Executive Order, some history.

 

Facts:

(1) In the Senate, Obama cast the deciding 2007 vote on a Labor-sponsored poison pill amendment to the Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill that originated out of the Bush White House. The bill died.

(2) As a Presidential candidate Obama promised that he would fix immigration in his first year in office. In his first and second years in office, Obama did nothing on immigration despite having huge Democrat majorities in the House and Senate.

(3) He could have passed reform in a month’s time, but he didn’t.

(4) When a bill to legalize those brought here illegally as children (DACA) passed the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, President Obama did nothing to help push it to 60 votes in the U.S. Senate that would have short-circuited any potential filibuster; enough Republicans voted to pass it to make it a bi-partisan bill but five Democrat Senators voted against it.  Those five senators are retired or were defeated by voters. Obama never even made a phone call to those senators asking for or demanding their votes.

(5) Obama claimed that he would issue executive orders on immigration reform by the end of summer earlier this year. He didn’t. He declared he would issue the decree by the end of the year and made sure everyone knew he would do so after the November 4th election.

This blatant political move was recognized by voters who rejected Obama and his candidates in many, many congressional districts and states. Americans are not “stupid.”

 

Senate Majority Leader-to-be Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner have both warned that the executive action contemplated will “poison the well” between the Republican controlled Congress and the White House. In essence, Mr. President, as John Boehner declares, there are many things a President needs from Congress and he is jeopardizing those needs by trying to outflank Congress.

Can the president issue Executive Orders? Yes, the courts have ruled since 1790 that the President has this power.

Can the President absolve people of coming to the country illegally, or defer deportation of such people? Yes, based on his exclusive power defined in Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution; to wit: “he shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States…” Citizenship is not required, only an “offense against the United States.”

 

Can the President change current immigration laws passed under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution that mandates Congress “Regulate commerce” and “establish a uniform rule of naturalization (immigration)? No, the courts will have to examine this proposed order and whether or not anyone who files a law suit asking to enjoin the President from enforcing such an order has standing to sue. The answer is probably no.

The President’s Executive Order threat is not timely (there is no emergency). It is legally suspect and most certainly will politically destroy Obama’s last two years in office. Hispanics will not save him for he cannot run for re-election and those that love him don’t write history books.

 

Author and syndicated columnist Raoul Lowery Contreras formerly wrote for the New American News Service of the New York Times. 

 

Exchange Plans are Failing America’s Most Vulnerable

November 20, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The Affordable Care Act has helped millions of Americans access health insurance. But the quality of coverage insurers are currently offering is worrisome.

Even with federal subsidies, many available plans make paying for medications to treat cancer, HIV/AIDS, autoimmune diseases, and other serious conditions totally unaffordable. If the Affordable Care Act doesn’t help the most vulnerable pay for treatment, who is it helping?

A report by the research group Milliman found that 46 percent of all enrollees with a Silver plan — the most popular level of coverage — have a single, combined deductible for medical and pharmacy benefits. As a result, it’s not uncommon for patients to pay more than $2,000 out of pocket before they get any drug coverage.

Compounding this problem is the high cost-sharing in most plans. Typically, insurance plans have four or five cost-sharing tiers. The lowest tier might have a co-pay of $15 for prescription drugs, while the highest tier might require patients to pay 40 percent or more of the actual cost of the medication. Such cost-sharing can run patients hundreds of dollars per month or more.

A new report by Avalere health analyzed cost-sharing in Affordable Care Act plans for 19 classes of prescription drugs used to treat specific illnesses. The results are troubling.

A shocking number of treatments are in the top cost-sharing tier. In seven of the classes, one in five Silver plans require coinsurance of 40 percent for all covered medications.

Additionally, more than 60 percent of Silver plans put all medicines for treating autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, arthritis and Crohn’s disease in the top tier.

Adding to this difficulty, many patients have reported that when signing up for insurance, they can’t determine what their co-pays will be. Few insurers are offering to help patients determine which level of coverage is best for their individual therapies.

The bottom line is that many Americans with serious health problems who signed up under the Affordable Care Act are finding that they have to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket just to get treatment.

Patients with these conditions have to make a decision about what they can afford. And that decision is often to save money by skipping medications.

The cost associated with non-adherence to prescription drug regimens is particularly problematic with autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune diseases are responsible for $100 billion in medical costs annually, and much of that is because patients have trouble staying on top of their treatments and end up in hospitals. By making autoimmune drugs unaffordable, these plans could make other health care costs explode. What’s more, 75 percent of those suffering from autoimmune diseases are women. Aside from harming those with chronic health problems, the formularies these plans offer are discriminatory.

Making sure patients have access to drugs saves money. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, the expansion of drug access through Medicare Part D saves $12 billion annually. That’s because medications enable patients to manage chronic conditions and avoid expensive trips to hospitals.

The lack of transparency in the marketplaces has also proven to be a problem. Many patients with chronic conditions might have been better-off selecting a Gold plan instead of a Silver or Bronze plan. It’s difficult to compare the bottom-line costs of plans offering higher monthly premiums but better drug coverage and plans with lower premiums but higher deductibles and co-pays.

The top priority of the Affordable Care Act is in its name: affordability. Instead, it’s putting basic health care out of reach for many of the sickest Americans. Insurance under the president’s health care law must pay for essential prescription drug treatments.

 

Virginia Ladd is the president and executive director of the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association.

 

Lista de Documentos Aceptables Para Solicitantes de Licencia de Conducir AB 60

November 20, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

El Departamento de Vehículos Motorizados de California (DMV) ha puesto a disposición la lista de documentos que aceptará como prueba de identidad para los solicitantes indocumentados que desean obtener una licencia de conducir de California.

Bajo la ley AB 60—firmada por el gobernador Jerry Brown en octubre de 2013—se le permitirá a los inmigrantes indocumentados en California conducir legalmente.

La ley del estado requiere que los automovilistas comprueben su identidad y presencia legal para obtener una licencia de conducir. Sin embargo, bajo la AB 60, los conductores que no puedan demostrar presencia legal deben demostrar su identidad, prueba de residencia en California y pasar el examen escrito y de conducir y de la vista si es necesario.

Los solicitantes deben cumplir con ciertos requisitos para proveer “prueba de identidad” al tomar el examen de conducir a partir del 2 de enero del 2015. El DMV anima a los solicitantes a comenzar a reunir los documentos necesarios y estudiar el Manual del Automovilista de California disponibles en la página web del DMV en www.dmv.ca.gov.

Los solicitantes deben presentar un documento primario como prueba de identidad. Algunos ejemplos, que se consideran “muy seguros y verificables electrónicamente”, son:

  • El pasaporte mexicano (expedido en el 2008 o después)
  • Identificación electoral mexicana (versión 2013)
  • Matricula consular mexicana (versiones 2006 y 2014)

De no tener este documento, el solicitante puede proveer dos documentos, uno de ellos siendo el acta de nacimiento de su país de origen que contenga una foto del solicitante o este apostillada y traducida junto con un segundo documento que puede ser;

  • Pasaporte extranjero
  • Documento Nacional de Identidad de Argentina, Chile, El Salvador, Perú
  • Identificación consular; Guatemala, Brasil

Si los solicitantes no pueden proporcionar ninguno de estos documentos, el personal de investigación del DMV deberá entrevistarlos “para verificar la identidad del solicitante”.

Después, los solicitantes deben demostrar el mayor número posible de “documentos secundarios”, tales como:

• Documentos de la escuela

• Documentos emitidos o presentados dentro del gobierno de EE.UU. incluyendo; Formulario I-589, I-20, DS-2019, documentos judiciales, declaraciones de impuestos, licencia antigua de conducir

• Licencia de Matrimonio o registros asociados nacionales

• Decretos de divorcio

• Identificaciones o tarjetas que contienen una fotografía del solicitante expedida por una agencia del gobierno de EE.UU.

Junto con el documento de identidad, los solicitantes deben presentar una “prueba de residencia en California”. Los documentos deben incluir el nombre y apellido del solicitante y su dirección de residencia de California. Algunos ejemplos son:

• Contratos de alquiler o de arrendamiento con la firma del propietario/arrendador y el arrendatario/residente

• Escrituras o títulos de propiedad residencial

• Facturas hipotecarias, facturas de servicios públicos o del teléfono

• Documentos escolares, de empleo, o médicos

• Seguros, registro de automóviles

• Declaraciones de impuestos, impuestos de la propiedad, documentos emitidos por el gobierno federal

California es el primer estado en la nación en ofrecer un proceso de revisión secundaria para los solicitantes que carecen de documentos de identificación típicos para probar la identidad.

DMV estima que expedirá alrededor de 1,4 millones de licencias de conducir durante los tres primeros años después que entre la ley en vigor.

Personas interesadas en obtener una licencia por primera vez, deben hacer una cita antes de visitar el DMV. Las citas se pueden hacer en línea en www.dmv.ca.gov o por teléfono al (800) 777-0133. Las instrucciones están disponibles también en español.

Puede ver la lista completa de documentos aceptables por el DMV en http://ab60.dmv.ca.gov.

Para obtener más información sobre la AB 60, incluyendo ejemplos de examenes interactivos, transmisiones por Internet e información acerca de comentarios públicos, visite: http://apps.dmv.ca.gov/ab60/index.html.

Monterey Park Man Convicted of Rape

November 20, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

A Monterey Park man convicted of raping two women he met while working at a cafe in Alhambra was sentenced to 30 years to life in state prison.

Superior Court Judge Cathryn Brougham also ordered Andrew Van Bui, 27, to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

At his home in August 2013, Bui drugged and raped a 26-year-old woman he met at the café where he worked, according to Deputy District Attorney Stephanie Chavez.

A week later, Bui met a 22-year-old woman at the same cafe, invited her to his home, attempted to drug her and then sexually assaulted her, according to the prosecutor.

Bui was arrested in September 2013 and has remained in jail since then.

He was convicted Aug. 27 of one count each of forcible oral copulation and rape by use of drugs, two counts of forcible rape and three counts of sexual penetration by a foreign object.

 

 

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