Latinos Support Health Care Reform But Not Mandate

Health care reform supporters in Minnesota - Photo: AFL-CIO/Flickr

Health care reform supporters in Minnesota. (Photo: AFL-CIO/Flickr)

Latino voters have a complicated relationship with the health care reform law approved in March 2010. On the one hand, they support the majority of its provisions and oppose its repeal. But just like other voters, they are against the clause that will force them to purchase coverage, the so-called mandate.

These are some of the results of an impreMedia/Latino Decisions (IM-LD) poll, the fifth in a series of six national polls exploring the opinions of the Latino group that has best integrated into American society: registered voters. This particular poll focused on the issues of insurance coverage and the health care reform law.

The results reveal that 50% of Latino voters support the Affordable Health Care Act and only 29% support its repeal. These numbers are similar to those of the general population.

However, 59% of these voters are not well disposed toward one of the law’s regulations, which makes it mandatory for them to purchase insurance if they do not have coverage. They are against it.

In fact, the insurance mandate is the most controversial part of the most important health care law approved in the United States in many years. It has been the subject of several lawsuits, as well as at least two appeals court decisions, one supporting its constitutionality and the other one rejecting it. The U.S. Supreme Court is likely to take up this issue next year.

On the other hand, Latino voters overwhelmingly support the law’s other provisions. For example, 85% support having the government provide tax credits to small businesses offering their employees coverage, and 63% support prohibiting insurance companies from denying potential insured patients coverage because of their medical history.

“Latino voters support the health care reform and in particular, they support many of its clauses except for the mandate. When we explore the reasons a bit more, we see Latinos of more limited means are more concerned about it,” said Matt Barreto, a professor at the University of Washington, Seattle and advisor for Latino Decisions.

Read the rest of the article on La Opinión/Impremedia