The Republican Party is having a hard time dealing with the rebuke it received in the November elections. Party leaders pretty quickly determined that the growing Hispanic vote could not be ignored and that immigrant bashing might not be the wisest policy to pursue. That’s led to talk of some compromise on immigration reform with the Democrats, although I’ll believe it when I see a law passed by Congress.
Many Republicans see Hispanics as a natural constituency: socially conservative, business-oriented, etc. And there may be some truth there.
But there’s another issue that stands squarely in the way: health care policy. Latinos have the lowest rate of health insurance coverage of any ethnic group and are big supporters of ObamaCare. Maybe health care was equally or more important than immigration in Obama’s success in November. I have no doubt that continued opposition to the Affordable Care Act will cost the GOP support at the national level. Resistance to Medicaid expansion at the state level is likely to hurt Republicans among Hispanics in places such as Texas, where Governor Perry’s rejection of ObamaCare has a direct and noticeable effect on the Hispanic community.
Universal health care is something people expect, even in middle income countries, never mind in the US. After all Mexico has found a way to offer health care coverage to everyone. Maybe we’ll soon hear of Americans seeking entry to Mexico to get health insurance.
The ACA is far from perfect, because the insurance companies are still involved and still make obscene profits. Anticipating the new rules, of no caps on amounts paid for care, which is great for those with cancer or other long term debilitating illness, young people now able to stay on their parent's health plans until age 26, the inability to be denied insurance due to a preexisting condition, insurance companies will up their premiums so that they can be unaffordable. If a person or family meets the pre set guidelines, they can get help from the government to pay for their insurance, but middle class Americans find that their companies' health plan are more costly for less care. Those who are working for private individuals, such as housekeepers and nannies, and declare their income, or whose company does not have health care coverage, due to the size of the company, may find that they do not meet the low income guidelines for government aid. Some doctors will not accept more meager plans. We must have a Medicare for All, single payer system and soon. Doctors must be made to accept these patients and the reimbursement must be high enough so that doctors are willing to accept these patients.
All this points to a tax code that must be changed. There are so many corporations that off shore their billions to avoid paying taxes and there are individuals, as well, who do this, and this must come to a halt. Frankly, the greed and inequality in this country is rapidly turning us into a Third World Nation. We are truly back in the Gilded Age of the middle 19th to middle 20th centuries.