Latinos on both sides of health care Supreme Court “showdown”
Latino backers and opponents of the Obama administration-backed health care law are paying close attention to the high-stakes hearings inside the U.S. Supreme Court, as Justices hear arguments on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While nearly 10 percent of all Americans are uninsured, for Latinos, the percentage is a staggering 31 percent.American health care has dogged presidents for decades; President Richard Nixon advocated for universal health care as far back as 1974. President Obama’s law aims to insure 95 percent of Americans by the year 2019 and transform American health care as we know it. But the main issue before the Court is whether all Americans should be required to buy health insurance to make the system work. Supporters say yes, opponents say no. 26 states have sued and are opposed to the legislation, which is strongly defended by the Obama administration.
“This historic law has marked a great difference in our community,” said U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solís, who supports the legislation. Solis added that “people will no longer be denied health coverage because of pre-existing conditions or diseases…and will not be bankrupted any longer by the escalating cost of health care.”
Some parts of the new law have already been rolled out. Charles González, a Democratic congressman from Texas, said that in his congressional district alone, 47 thousand children, many of them Latino, who used to be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions like asthma or diabetes are now covered by the new law. California Congresswoman Loretta Sánchez said around 32 thousand seniors in her district received Medicare preventive services without co-pays or deductibles as part of the changes brought about by the law.
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