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Myriad languages, cultures challenge health reform

SFGate.com / Associated Press, September 12, 2013

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Set on a gritty corner of Oakland's International Boulevard, the nonprofit Street Level Health Project offers free checkups to patients who speak a total of 22 languages, from recent Mongolian immigrants seeking a doctor to Burmese refugees in need of a basic dental exam. It also provides a window into one of the challenges for state officials who are trying to implement the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama's sweeping health care overhaul. Understanding the law is a challenge even for governors, state lawmakers and agency officials, but delivering its message to non-English speakers who can benefit from it is shaping up as a special complication.