Latino voters are tired of Washington chipping away at health care

New UnidosUS poll shows Hispanic voters want to strengthen and expand the nation’s health care

Hispanic children health care

We all want to lead healthy lives, and the policies our nation’s leaders put forward can either enable or weaken that goal. As we near the midterm elections, Latino voters are showing that that link is at the top of their minds and could decide who they vote for.

At UnidosUS, we have registered thousands of voters across the country this year, and we hope that all can turn out on November 6 to vote on the issues they care about. The Latino community is facing many challenges and are concerned about a wide range of issues, and health care is near the top of the list.

LATINOS AREN’T SINGLE-ISSUE VOTERS

Health care is a priority for Latino voters.

In a year of family separation crises and ending DACA, some are quick to assume that Latinos are only concerned about how candidates stand on immigration issues. But a new poll commissioned by UnidosUS shows that health care was nearly as high a priority as immigration, 29% versus 37%, and for Latinos 35 and older, the issues are equally important.

More than half of the Latinos polled report that the rising costs of premiums and out-of-pocket expenses are major concerns for them going into the election, and that the federal government should have a major role to play in controlling those costs.

With that in mind, it’s no surprise that Latinos show overwhelming love for public health care programs like the Affordable Care Act (61% support), the Children’s Health Insurance Program (82%) and Medicaid (82%).

LATINO VOTERS WANT MORE ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE

The Latino voters polled acknowledge the imperfections of the ACA, but support improvements to the law rather than dismantling it. Overall, the voters support policies that expand access to quality, affordable insurance.

For proposals to expand access to health care, each suggestion received more than 80% of the respondents’ support, including:

  • Offering insurance for purchase through Medicare regardless of age.
  • Making all low-income children eligible for Medicaid regardless of immigration status.
  • Increasing financial assistance for purchasing private insurance under the ACA.
  • Creating a national plan for everyone to receive insurance through the government.

Most of the Latino voters polled show strong support for nutrition programs like school lunch programs and SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps), and overwhelmingly reject any effort to cut funding or limit access to them.

Health care is a priority for Latino voters.

LATINO VOTERS WANT THE ACA TO BE IMPROVED, NOT DISMANTLED

The ACA has helped four million Latino adults and 600,000 Latino children get health coverage, a reality that won’t be lost on voters.

Latino voters clearly want to expand access to health care, and fervently oppose any action to limit access to care or to weaken the ACA, including the several efforts by leaders in Congress last year to repeal the law. The voters polled also reject any suggestion of denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.

Reliable access to health care has the power to completely transform a person’s life. We’ve seen countless examples of that in communities across the country since major of provisions of the ACA were implemented in 2013. The polling shows that Latino voters overwhelmingly want to see the possibilities of quality health care expanded, not limited.

Any effort to reverse that progress could make the difference in which candidate these voters support.

You might also be interested in:

Building Latino Power As we quickly approach the height of this critical election year, we are thrilled to officially launch our Building Power Initiative. You may recall from the Spring […]

Latino Vote Briefings Examine Hispanic Electorate Trends In this crucially important election year, UnidosUS recently launched the Latino Vote Briefing Series, thanks to support from donors like you. These virtual […]