Obamacare News Today: Latinos Increasingly Favor Affordable Care Act, Likely to Influence 2016 Election
U.S. Latinos reportedly have a favorable opinion of the Affordable Care Act, also referred to as Obamacare.
The Florida Atlantic University (FAU) Business and Economics Polling Initiative (BEPI) said 60 percent of Latinos hold a favorable view of the healthcare reform legislation and found it increasingly easier to afford health insurance. The FAU poll also found Latinos have found it easier to afford healthcare compared to a similar survey conducted six months ago. Of all of the Latinos participating in the FAU survey, 7.8 percent said they have no health insurance, which is a decline from the 15.7 percent claiming no health insurance six months earlier.
"This is excellent news, given that before the Affordable Care Act expansion of health insurance coverage Hispanics were far more likely than whites to be uninsured," said Dr. Monica Escaleras, director of BEPI. "With the decline in uninsured rates among Hispanics, the Affordable Care Act is reducing the ethnic disparities in access to healthcare."
Among Latinas, the uninsured rate dropped from 20.8 percent to 8.4 percent. The number of Latinas on health insurance provided by the government jumped from 26.2 percent to 42.2 percent, a gain of 16.1-percentage points. Latino males participating in the FAU survey were found to be more likely to support Obamacare than Latinas, with 66.4 percent to 52.4 percent.
A 2016 presidential candidate would also receive more support from the overall Latinos in the survey. Most respondents, with 45.2 percent, said they would vote for a presidential candidate in support of the ACA, while 31.8 percent would vote for a candidate opposing the reform bill.
Older Latinos, above the millennial age bracket, were more likely to vote for the candidate supporting the ACA than the candidate in opposition, with 50.9 percent to 32.1 percent).
Most Latinos believed the federal government has a responsibility to provide health coverage for its citizens, with 54 percent to 34 percent holding a contrary opinion. The support for the government providing health insurance grew higher as the respondents' income levels increased.
The university's poll was conducted between March 1 and March 31, with 500 Latinos participating.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the nationwide uninsured rate in the Latino community dropped 12.3 percent since the ACA's first provisions went in effect in 2010. Since 2010, 4.2 million Latinos gained health insurance. Despite the gains, Latinos remained the largest uninsured ethnicity group.
"Since the passage of the ACA almost five years ago, about 16.4 million uninsured people have gained health coverage - the largest reduction in the uninsured in four decades," said HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell in a statement in March.
"Because of the ACA, young adults are able to stay on their parents' plans until age 26, states can expand their Medicaid programs, and tax credits are available to millions of Americans in all 50 states, making health care coverage more affordable and accessible. When it comes to the key metrics of affordability, access, and quality, the evidence shows that the Affordable Care Act is working, and families, businesses and taxpayers are better off as a result," Burwell added.
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