Latinos remain wary of Obamacare as deadline looms

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    Mar 28, 2014 1:57 PM GMT
    LOS ANGELES, Calif — Ruben Acosta, a 53-year-old security guard and legal immigrant from Mexico, shoved his fears aside and made a visit to a school administration building in Compton on a Wednesday last week because he wanted health insurance.

    “A lot of Latino people don’t come because they’re afraid,” said Acosta, who brought his wife and 6-year-old granddaughter, a U.S. citizen, to the Covered California enrollment event at the Compton Unified School District. There, people working for the California health care exchange established by the Affordable Care Act sought to enroll members of the demographic group with the lowest rate of insurance coverage in America into the program the president they helped elect said would benefit them.

    It’s been a bit of a challenge. The enrollment of Latinos under Obamacare is turning out to be much harder than anyone expected. The president’s oversight of a massive ramp up in the deportation of undocumented immigrants — nearly 2 million of whom have been expelled during his five years in office — has led critics to dub him the “deporter in chief.” It has also created an environment of fear and suspicion in Latino communities that’s undermining willingness to enroll in Obamacare. Traumatized by watching families ripped apart and disappointed that promised immigration reforms have remained stubbornly out of reach, families of mixed legal standing now worry that seeking insurance could lead to the arrest and deportation of loved ones or loss of U.S.-citizen children, rather than increased economic security and better health.

    “Obama promised that [applicants’ immigration status] information won’t be shared, but he also promised he’d pass immigration reform,” Acosta said, raising his eyebrows as he relayed reasons to be wary of government promises.

    Acosta overcame his own doubts, because his health care plan from work does not cover his wife, 46-year-old Ana Acosta, who is still paying back a $5,000 emergency room bill from the last time she got sick. It also helps that most of his immediate family members are either in the U.S. legally or citizens.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 18258

    Mar 29, 2014 5:03 PM GMT
    Its not only the legal status of these Latinos, it is also the fact that Obamacare is a gigantic bureaucratic boondoggle that could probably end up costing more than ordinary health insurance.
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    Mar 29, 2014 7:15 PM GMT
    In 2008, Obama received 67% of the Latino vote and 71% in 2012.