Obamacare a bad deal for Hispanics

Daniel Garza, Detroit News:
The White House’s failed roll-out of its Spanish-language health care website, CuidadoDeSalud.gov, is already a laughing stock. Much like its English language counterpart, the site is filled with technical issues, mistranslations, and links to English-only pages and forms.

But the joke is on Hispanics and Latinos like myself. Beyond the faulty launch of the federal website, the Affordable Care Act penalizes the Hispanic-American community in Michigan in several serious ways. The end result is that a law that was supposed to help us actually makes affordable and quality health care even harder to find.

One issue that has received too little attention is how Obamacare affects patient choice and doctor-patient relationships. These are major issues for Hispanic-Americans. According to the Census Bureau, we’re the least likely demographic to seek out medical attention. A full 42 percent of Hispanics don’t visit the doctor even once a year. When we do go to see a doctor, we’re very picky. The National Hispanic Medical Association reports that Hispanics prefer doctors who “appreciate [our] culture and understand [our] families’ dynamics and [our] traditions.”

Unfortunately, our options are limited by the fact that only 5 percent of doctors are Hispanic. Yet that’s where Obamacare kicks in and makes things worse. Because the law imposes so many expensive mandates and regulations on health insurance, the most affordable health care plans no longer include the large networks that give us the most choice.

For Hispanics, this limits our already-strained access to the doctors we want and worsens our culture’s chronic doctor shortages.

But this isn’t even the worst of the Affordable Care Act’s problems. Despite what we were promised, the Affordable Care Act is surprisingly unaffordable.

Obamacare will simply be too expensive for many Hispanics. The problem for us stems from the law’s over-reliance on the young. This directly affects the Hispanic-American community because we are significantly younger than the average American. In fact, our median age is 27—the age that’s most severely harmed by the Affordable Care Act’s premium increases.
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They made the mistake of relying on what the Democrats were saying about the act, rather than listening to the cirticism of it that has proved much more accurate.  Republicans need to appeal directly to Hispanics who now understand what a bad deal Obamacare is.

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