Last week, LatinTRENDS began a three-part series on how the Affordable Care Act has impacted the Latino community within the United States of America. In the first part it was discussed how Latinos impacted ACA by enrolling and becoming insured through President Barack Obama’s healthcare initiative.
When it comes to politics, particularly elections, candidates are able to acquire data that tells them who the targeted constitutes are that they want to sway when it comes to campaigning. However, when it comes to matters involving who make up and where they live, finding out who the uninsured are is a different story because there is no such database equivalent to voter registration when the ACA first began.
But that was a year ago.
For this portion, we’ll take a look at Where the uninsured Latinos are in this country.
During last year’s effort to get people to enroll into ACA, outreach groups hit the pavement promoting enrollment into ACA went out and essentially canvassed neighborhoods and communities across the country trying to inform, education, and get people to enroll to become insured. Their efforts were similar in ways to campaigning efforts, and it was during these “campaigning efforts” for ACA enrollment that some of these groups collected some data on who & where the uninsured were in this country.
One of these outreach groups was Enroll America whose mission is to “ Enroll America is a nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization focused on one goal: maximizing the number of Americans who are enrolled in and retain health coverage,” is one of the largest enrollment organization that has collected data through the use of the census and tactics employed by marketing companies.
According to Matt Saniie, Enroll America’s national director of data & analytical, during the first year of open enrollment the outreach organization created a map which was used in order to pinpoint the uninsured in the country much like the way marketing companies create maps consisting on the local of their targeted consumers.
Based on Enroll America’s map, a large portion of Latinos who are uninsured come from major cities within Arizona, Florida, and Texas. In-addition to large cities, the group also found that in-comparison there were higher rates of uninsured Latinos within rural areas like the northern part of Georgia near the state’s border, North Carolina, and Tennessee.
The possible reason why Latinos in these cities and within these rural areas may not be insured and not willing to enroll is possibly due to the fear of potentially exposing themselves or family members’ as being illegal citizens. With immigration being a highly debated—and truly intense—Issue within the country, Latinos who are largely known for being the one community to entail a large populace of immigrants may be hesitant to apply. However, the fear is unfounded but purely fear-based.
According to the data generated by Enroll America, states like Arkansas, Kentucky, New Mexico, and Nevada Latinos are beginning to enroll thus eliminating the number of uninsured Latinos within those states. Meanwhile, within California, Oregon, and Texas some are enrolling while others are not depending on the county in question. But within the states that didn’t pass the Medicaid expansion that went along with ACA—North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia—there was not much a decline among the uninsured.
For the next and final installment, I’ll take a look at the Who makes up the Latino uninsured.