Latest GOP Health Care Repeal Would be Devastating for Latinos

Just days after Donald Trump proclaimed Hispanic Heritage Month, his own Senate Republicans are once again trying to force a last-minute vote on a health care repeal bill that would greatly harm the Latino community. The Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson bill is even worse than previous failed attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act as it would gut Medicaid, allow insurers to discriminate against individuals with pre-existing conditions and increase costs for seniors, people with disabilities, and families with children.

Over 4.2 million Latinos who were previously uninsured gained coverage under the ACA:

NBC News: “This makes Hispanics the group with the largest gains in insurance. That means 4.2 million previously uninsured Latinos have some kind of coverage since healthcare enrollment began in 2013, possibly including coverage through federal and state-funded Medicaid. The number also includes young people able to stay on their parents' insurance until age 26, which began earlier.

Kaiser Family Foundation: “The uninsured rate for Hispanics declined significantly after the ACA,” falling to 17% as of 2015.

Medicaid is one of the principal sources of coverage for Hispanics:

Kaiser Family Foundation: As of March 2016, 25% of the nonelderly Hispanic population in the U.S. relied on Medicaid and CHIP.

Kaiser Family Foundation: As of March 2016, 58% of Hispanic children relied on Medicaid and CHIP.

The uninsured rate for working-age Latino adults fell under the ACA from 43.2% in 2010 to 24.8% in 2016:

Commonwealth Fund: “Millions of Latinos have gained health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The uninsured rate for working-age Latino adults has fallen from 43.2 percent in 2010 to 24.8 percent in 2016 (Exhibit 1). Uninsured rates have also fallen significantly for whites and blacks, but the nearly 20-point decline for Latinos is the largest of any ethnic group.”

Hispanics with pre-existing conditions depend on lifesaving care under the ACA:

The Hill: “Latinos have one of the highest rates of diabetes, asthma and obesity, and benefited disproportionately from a clause in the healthcare law banning denial of coverage due to preexisting conditions.”

Kaiser Family Foundation: “Hispanics face a range of health challenges (…) 12% Report fair or poor health status; 32% are obese; 8% Told by the doctor they have diabetes.”

Commonwealth Fund: “We also found that, among populations with preexisting conditions, these increases in insurance coverage were associated with increased access to care. The share of people reporting cost-related access problems in the past 12 months fell in all the preexisting-condition groups (Exhibit 2).”

Hispanic children reached an historic insured rate of 92.5% in 2015:

Center for Children and Families, Georgetown University Health Policy Institute: “Latino children’s coverage rates improved to a historic high of 92.5 percent in the second year after the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) coverage provisions took effect. The number of uninsured Latino children declined by approximately 676,000, from 2 million in 2013 to 1.4 million in 2015. In this same time period, the uninsurance rate for Latino children dropped from 11.5 percent to 7.5 percent.”

Millions of Latinos with private insurance have access to critical preventive care services because of the ACA:

Department of Health and Human Services: “8.8 million Latinos with private insurance now have access to expanded preventive services with no cost-sharing. This includes services such as colonoscopy screening for colon cancer, Pap smears and mammograms for women, well-child visits, and flu shots for all children and adults.”