One hope for ACA: Latinos

A heated battle is breaking out in terms of trying to get Americans enrolled in the health insurance exchanges and Medicaid--considered a crucial component of the financial future of America's hospitals.

Despite the often partisan feuding over the topic and the fragmented opinions about the Affordable Care Act, one large group in the U.S. appears to be embracing the new healthcare law: Latinos.

Thirty-three percent of Latinos surveyed by the Spanish-language broadcaster Univision said they are likely to enroll in an ACA-related insurance product, whether Medicaid or the commercial insurance available on state exchanges. That compares to just 27 percent of non-Latinos who say they will likely enroll in the program. Among those whose primary language is Spanish, 46 percent said they were very likely to obtain coverage, far higher than non-Latinos. There are about four million Spanish-only Latinos in the U.S., according to Latina magazine.

The data shows some promise for both ACA and hospitals, as Latinos have higher proportional rates of uninsured than any other ethnic group in the U.S.

However, there are a number of hurdles ahead for the Latino populace, of whom 10 million are likely to qualify for coverage via the ACA. Latino healthcare organizations say they lack the funds or bilingual staff to do appropriate outreach.

And, to compound the issue, the Obama Administration announced this week that it was delaying the start of Spanish-language health insurance exchanges and enrollment until at least Oct. 21, weeks after the planned Oct. 1 launch of the English-language exchanges, The Hill reported.

To learn more:
- read the Univision survey 
- here's the Latina magazine article
- check out The Hill article

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