Health Care Bill Passed - What Does This Mean For Latinos?

A most recent topic of everyday discussion is the passing of the new Health Care Reform Bill by U.S. President Barack Obama. The new bill will have a dramatic impact on millions of Americans for years to come, but it seems the population that may be affected the most are the Latinos. Many questions are arising from the Latin population, but little answers are being given. How will the Health Care Bill address needs of Hispanics? Who will be responsible for illegal immigrants that don't have health insurance? Or will there be enough doctors that are aware of culture and know Spanish that can attend to Latinos needs? These are all major concerns of the U.S. Latin people. From the outside it seems policymakers have tunnel vision and only looking at the present day issue and not taking into consideration the future. Latinos are the most rapid growing minority in the states, which means years down the road another reform will be needed.

Latinos Impact Living in the U.S.

The estimation for Hispanics living in the U.S. from the 2010 Census is around 50 million. They make up about 15% of the population representing the largest ethnic minority in the country. By 2050 it is estimated that Latinos will represent 60%. If you do the math that is a 45% increase. The percentage of Hispanic-origin population that live in California or Texas is 49%, with 13 other states that each have a half a million Hispanic residents. Here is another interesting fact is that around 1.1 million Latino veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces are serving our country. The point that is being made is that this is a strong growing minority, which also needs to be addressed more closely on the healthcare bill.

Health Care for Latinos

So what does Health care mean for Latinos? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has stated that illegal immigrants will not be insured under the current proposals. And the Congressional Hispanic Caucus has made known that health insurance is only for legal immigrants who pay their fair share for health care. But everyone is required to buy insurance or else pay the fine. Many are saying that this will lead to a disaster for health care by leaving illegal Latino immigrants uninsured. The major issues that continue to be discussion among Hispanics are insurance coverage, access to care, health care costs, and of course quality of care. All these worries seem to not be answered entirely for Latinos and Americans for that matter.

The Health Care Bill must meet the needs of ALL Americans and if not, it is indeed failing to do its job, which is essentially to give equal opportunity to everyone. Policymakers are not responding to changing demographics of the United States and they are definitely not understanding Latinos effect within the current system. This in turn is affecting the ability to create reforms that will guarantee affordable, accessible health care for everyone that walks on this land. If the health care bill does not meet the needs and concerns of all Americans, it will inevitably have no positive effect in the long-term. So if you think that white American citizens are the only ones studying this bill carefully to see how it will affect them, think again. Latinos are also watching closely and in some respect more fearful of this significant event that will change their lives and this nation forever.

By: Dustin M.