On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law. Seven years later, over four million Latino adults have gained health coverage. The fact that more Latinos are covered than ever before is something to celebrate, maintain, and build upon. However, not everyone feels that more people having quality, affordable health care is worth celebrating. Today, the House GOP Leadership is expected to hold a vote to gut the ACA and replace it with their proposal that would kick millions of children, seniors, and families off their insurance.
To mark the seventh anniversary of the ACA, we are highlighting five aspects of the law that benefit the Latino community, plus two aspects of the House GOP proposal that would harm Latino families and children.
Five benefits of the ACA for Latinos:
- Thanks to the ACA, more Latino adults have health coverage than ever before.
–Over four million Latino adults have gained health coverage because of the law, reducing the Latino uninsured rate from one in three in 2010 to one in six in 2015.
- Nearly 93% of Latino children now have health coverage.
–Thanks to the ACA, Medicaid expansion, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, a record 92.5% of Latino children have health coverage.
- More Latino young adults have access to health coverage.
–Under the ACA, over 900,000 Latino young adults (aged 18-24) gained coverage. Thanks to the ACA, young adults can stay on their parents’ health plan, or they can shop for their own plan on the health insurance marketplace.
- There are 72 preventive services available free of charge.
–Because of the ACA, 17 million Latinos now have access to preventive services free of charge. This includes screening for chronic conditions, like high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, that disproportionately impact Latinos.
- The ACA makes progress in making health care a civil right for all Americans.
–The ACA extends essential civil rights protections to our health care system for the first time, prohibiting discrimination based on nation of origin, race, age, sex, or disability. The ACA also ensures that everyone has access to health care services in their preferred language.
…And two ways the Republican plan would hurt Latinos:
- The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that the Republican proposal to repeal and replace the ACA would cause 24 million Americans to lose coverage by 2026.
–This plan would jeopardize health coverage for 3.2 million Latinos by repealing the ACA’s Medicaid expansion provision.
–Health insurance would become less affordable for many of the one million Latinos who purchase coverage through the ACA’s health insurance marketplace.
- This plan jeopardizes Medicaid coverage for 18 million Latinos, including children.
–This plan would end the Medicaid program as we know it, enacting drastic cuts to a program where one in three nonelderly enrollees are Latino.
The ACA has helped millions of Americans, including Latinos, gain access to health coverage and care, improving the health and well-being of the entire country. Recent enrollment data by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shows that during the fourth open enrollment period that ended on January 31, 2017, demand for health coverage remains solid. As Congress prepares to take a vote on the future of the law, we will continue working to #ProtectAndDefend the gains that we have made as a community and as a country.
Stay connected and receive updates via our Action Network as we work with congressional champions like the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to guarantee that the Latino community’s needs and priorities are considered in any health care bill.