On Tuesday evening, the federal government ground to a halt over Republican efforts to defund the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Even as the political fallout remains in question, implementation of the law continues to move forward. As of October 1, uninsured Americans were able to sign up for access to health care insurance, although coverage will not go into effect until January. One group likely to be disproportionately affected by the law includes Hispanics who comprise an outsized proportion of the uninsured.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 American Community Survey, Hispanics are twice as likely to be uninsured, with almost three-in-ten (29 percent) Hispanics reporting a lack of coverage compared to 15 percent of the general population.
Hispanics also rank the cost of health care as one of their top concerns. As seen in PRRI’s new Graphic of the Week, nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of Hispanics report the cost of health care is a critical issue. Roughly three-in-ten (28 percent) Hispanics report it is as important as other issues and only five percent say it is not important.
In principle, Hispanics strongly support government-provided health care. A majority (58 percent) of Hispanics agree the government should guarantee health insurance for all citizens, even if it means raising taxes, while almost four-in-ten (39 percent) Hispanics disagree. This is comparable to the general population, with 56 percent of the population in agreement and 44 percent in opposition.
At the same time, Hispanics are divided—as are Americans overall—over the 2010 health care law. Nearly half (48 percent) of Hispanics are in favor of repealing and eliminating the 2010 health care law, while roughly as many (47 percent) are opposed.