Hispanics Being Left behind in Health Care Overhaul

CBS DFW, March 24, 2014


Hispanics account for about one-third of the nation’s uninsured, but they seem to be staying on the sidelines as the White House races to meet a goal of 6 million sign-ups by March 31.

Latinos are “not at the table,” says Jane Delgado, president of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, a nonpartisan advocacy network. “We are not going to be able to enroll at the levels we should be enrolling at.”


Hispanics who remain uninsured could face fines, not to mention exposing their families to high medical bills from accidents or unforeseen illness. And the government won’t get the full advantage of a group that’s largely young and healthy, helping keep premiums low in the new insurance markets.


The Obama administration says it has no statistics on the race and ethnicity of those signing up in the insurance exchanges, markets that offer subsidized private coverage in every state. Consumers provide those details voluntarily, so federal officials say any tally would be incomplete and possibly misleading.

But concern is showing through, and it’s coming from the highest levels.

“You don’t punish me by not signing up for health care,” Obama told Hispanic audiences during a recent televised town hall. “You’re punishing yourself or your family.”

Like a candidate hunting for votes in the closing days of a campaign, Obama was back on Hispanic airwaves Monday as Univision Radio broadcast his latest pitch.


A big Gallup survey recently showed tepid sign-up progress. While the share of African-Americans who are uninsured dropped by 2.6 percentage points this year, the decline among Hispanics was just 0.8 percentage point.

In California, where Latinos account for 46 percent of those eligible for subsidized coverage through the exchange, they represented 22 percent of those who had enrolled by the end February and had also volunteered their race or ethnicity. {snip}

Experts cite overlapping factors behind disappointing Latino sign-ups:

— A shortage of in-person helpers to guide consumers. “In our community, trust and confidence is so important — you want to make sure it’s okay before you share all this personal information,” Delgado said. There’s been a lack of “culturally sensitive” outreach to Latinos, added Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas.

— Fear that applying for health care will bring unwelcome scrutiny from immigration authorities. The health insurance exchanges are only for citizens and legal U.S. residents, but many Hispanic families have mixed immigration status. Some members may be native born, while others might be here illegally. Obama has tried to dispel concerns, repeatedly saying that information on applications will not be shared with immigration authorities.

—The decision by many Republican-led states not to expand Medicaid, as they could under the law. With states like Texas and Florida refusing to expand Medicaid, many low-income Latinos will remain uninsured. However, Medicaid expansion is separate from coverage on the exchanges, which is available in every state. Latinos don’t seem motivated to sign up for that, either.

— Technical difficulties that delayed the federal government’s Spanish-language enrollment site. CuidadoDeSalud.gov has also had to cope with clunky translations.


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  • Puggg

    Here are some better theories, though of by a somewhat above average intelligence dog:

    A. Hispanics already have Medicaid

    B. Many just don’t care

    • Pro_Whitey

      Yes, Latinos are not at the table because they are already in the emergency room demanding free care. To think they would agree to pay for it through insurance premiums is ludicrous.

      • They’re not too bright, but they are cunning enough to understand that Oogaboogacare is really just a wealth-redistribution racket. Greaseritos are already some of the main beneficiaries of wealth redistribution; they’re not going to sign up to have their own money go into the pot!

        • archer

          Why would they pay for something that they have always gotten for free, seems like a no brainer to me.

      • Laura Dilworth

        i think the ’emergency care act’ was signed by reagan. the aca was designed to shake down whites

        • Pro_Whitey

          I believe you are correct, but in Uncle Ronnie’s defense, was that part of a clean bill, or was it mashed in with a bunch of budget provisions so that he had to shut the government down if he vetoed? Uncle Ronnie was not perfect (see also the amnesty of 1986), but for those of us old enough to remember what it was like before he took office, he still represents a sea change. By the 1970s, the leftists in both parties had people thinking that their options were socialism or communism. For Uncle Ronnie merely to state that Americans could take pride in their country or take a different course of action seemed like a supremely defiant act back then. And please remember that he was dealing with entrenched leftists in Congress, plus the GOPers supposedly backing him up were the likes of George Bush and Bob Dole. It is surprising he managed to do as much as he did, with friends like that.

          • Laura Dilworth

            i’m sure that the gipper did not initiate these policies and was pressured into it

          • bilderbuster

            Uncle Ronnie was always a New Deal democrat at heart except unlike FDR he didn’t trust the USSR.

  • sbuffalonative

    A short time after ObamaCare passed, I went to an online article. An ad started playing automatically.

    The ad went something like this; ‘Now that the ACA has passed, what about us (Hispanics)?’

    Soon illegals will be given access to ObamaCare because they’re ‘at risk and under served’.

  • JackKrak

    “Hispanics being left behind…”???

    The Feds could parachute teams into every ghetto and barrio in the country to fill out every form for them and take them by the hand to every clinic, voting booth and legal aid center and someone would STILL be “left behind”.

    We can never do enough for these people.

    • Einsatzgrenadier

      Mestizo failure is a result of inferior genes, rather than a lack of opportunity. These people were meant to be left behind.

  • Luca

    As the old adage goes: “Why buy the cow when you get the milk for free?”

    I will never forget what a Mexican told me, 30 years ago: “In my country, you no work, you no eat. Here, you no work, but you still can eat.”

  • Ella

    For non-emergencies, Hispanics can make a trip to Mexico or wherever country of origin is located. They expect “free” as US government tends to push these new paying programs down their throats. Maybe, politicians should sell it as a “necessary bribe.”

  • RisingReich

    Boo hoo – round ‘n browns have troubles signing up for an illegal program, while the squatters squat illegally.

    B-O-O H-O-O.

  • thomas edward

    “What you see, is what you got.” – Flip Wilson
    mexicans are about the unhealthiest people you will ever lay your eyes on. They have absolutely nothing to offer to this technological society.

    • MBlanc46

      Sure they do. Agricultural work. Lawn services. Meatpacking. Roofing. Hotels and restaurants. Unfortunately, the list goes on and on.

      • thomas edward

        Correct, but short sighted. The idea of America is to come and do those jobs (first generation) and the children move on as Americans. This will not happen with mexicans. They are at the top of their game now. Their children will never enter the ranks of Americans able to fend for themselves in this technological society (low IQ). If they would (they won’t), they could do what you said, what their parents are doing. But they’ll reject that work like the Americans young people. However, with the soon to come robotization, that work will dry up sooner than later. The sons and daughters of the illegal mexicans are totally screwed.

        • MBlanc46

          You’re obviously not an employer. (Nor am I.) I don’t see how you can say that they can’t do what they do, because they’re clearly doing it. So far as automation is concerned, they’re probably less screwed than white working-class people are, because they’re used to, and willing to, live in subhuman conditions.

  • dd121

    I think this is an opportunity for an outreach program. Shouldn’t cost more than a few billion.

  • me

    Latinos are “not at the table,” says Jane Delgado, president of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, a nonpartisan advocacy network
    Not only are ‘Latrinos’ at our table, they’re elbowing us out of the way to get to the choicest morsels on the table… that we worked for, raised, cooked, made, and provided. Time to start boycotting, protesting, calling our ‘representatives’ and threatening their jobs, picketing, shunning and intimidating. Very effective and very necessary. What are YOU going to do in your own neighborhoods? Are you going to become active to change this insidious injustice?

  • IstvanIN

    They get free medical care at the emergency room. They don’t care about bad credit ratings, or liens, or wage garnishments or any of that. A new name or Social Security number, a new address, whatever, they are an “off the books” ethnic group.

  • MBlanc46

    “The Obama administration says it has no statistics on the race and ethnicity of those signing up in the insurance exchanges”.

    Rubbish. One thing that the Obama team has been very good at is data collection.

  • Greg Thomas

    “Latinos are “not at the table,” says Jane Delgado, president of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, a nonpartisan advocacy network. “

    That’s because they already stole the table.

    • BonV.Vant

      they would steal the table and not the silverware

  • mobilebay

    Not to worry. Today, it was announced that the date for Obamacare sign-up has been extended until April. Anybody want to bet that by the end of April, we’ll see another extension into May and on and on?

  • BonV.Vant

    left behind- too fat to catch the bus

  • Who Me?

    I can “cite overlapping factors behind disappointing Latino sign-ups”:
    –Clunky translations for people who refuse to learn the dominant language of the land.
    –People who already get “free to them” care at hospital emergency rooms have no intention of starting to pay for it.
    –Latinos mistakenly believe that Americans follow their own laws and would properly scrutinize them if they signed up, being illegal and all.