The Latino community has made historic gains since passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and today those gains have been protected when House Republicans abruptly pulled their health care plan from the House floor minutes before members were supposed to cast their votes.
We thank those members of Congress who stood against a bill that would have gutted our nation’s health insurance system and forced millions of Americans to lose coverage. Between 2013 and 2015, more than four million Latino adults and 600,000 children have obtained coverage. While today was a victory for supporters of the Affordable Care Act, we also caution against future threats.
“The people spoke out and won the day, but it is unlikely the fight is over,” said Janet Murguia, NCLR President and CEO. “We are committed to continue pushing for policies that benefit the health and well-being of our children and families.”
Among the numerous harmful provisions, the House GOP proposal would have:
- Slashed Medicaid spending by $880 billion over the next 10 years, crippling the program and ending Medicaid as we know it. More than 70 million Americans, including 18 million Latinos, rely on Medicaid, and around half of all Medicaid enrollees are children.
- Repealed the ACA’s Medicaid expansion provision, blocking a pathway for 11 million low-income adults who gained coverage in the 32 states that chose to expand. As of 2015, more than three million Latino adults have gained coverage through state Medicaid expansions.
- Replaced the ACA’s system of flexible tax credits, which help make health coverage attainable for millions of working families, with a flat tax credit that would increase consumer costs by an estimated $1,700, on average.
Latinos have expressed significant support for the ACA and back efforts to improve — not repeal — the law. A Latino Decisions poll last year revealed that 70 percent of Latino voters supported the health care law.
“Today’s outcome is a clear testament to the power of our collective voice. The tenacious outpouring of efforts by those in the field, including phone calls, public testimonies, and rallies demonstrates the influence we can have when we take strategic action,” said Murguia. “We cannot let up. We must continue applying pressure and make it abundantly clear to this administration and Congress that we will fight tooth and nail to protect health care for those who desperately need it.”