Despite voting for President Obama by a robust margin and supporting Obamacare, it turns out one of the groups most negatively impacted by Obamacare will be Latinos. Here's why:
1) Latinos are opening small businesses at a rate faster than any other group. In fact, already, 1 in 8 Latino households consists of a small business owner. And guess who bears the brunt of Obamacare the most? Small businesses (those with under 500 employees). Under Obamacare, small businesses with over 50 employees must provide health insurance, or pay a penalty, not to mention navigate the maze of Obamacare's complexities without the luxury of the high-priced legal teams Fortune 500 companies have on staff.
Companies are laying workers off or slashing hours (down from full-time to part-time, in order to avoid the insurance requirement). It is a reality we in the Latino community are living.
2) Latinos are, like African-Americans, suffering from a higher unemployment rate than the average American. Thus, we are hit especially hard by any legislation that discourages hiring or economic growth, as does Obamacare. Whereas Obamacare's opponents used to scoff at this line of reasoning, they have grown silent as report after report surfaces: companies are laying workers off or slashing hours (down from full-time to part-time, in order to avoid the insurance requirement). It is a reality we in the Latino community are living.
Take my friend Isaac* (*name changed for privacy reasons): the son of Mexican immigrants, Isaac is in his 30s and lives with his parents (he cares for his mentally ill father and prefers to live at home where he, as many Latinos similarly choose to do, can best assist his parents' needs). After a long period of unemployment after the recession hit, Isaac finally found a job at Home Depot — a natural with all things carpentry and a 'people-person,' he genuinely enjoyed it and it gave him a dignified income to help out with household bills, the occasional recreational activity, and even save a little. Well, Isaac's hours have just been cut down to part-time. (Meanwhile, Isaac's parents – both of whom are on Medicare – saw their own choice and quality of care cut when Obamacare gutted over half a trillion dollars from that program. Remaining true to liberal ideology: 'Who cares about the elderly! They won't be voting in 20 years – why bother spending on them?')
And it's not just hours-slashing or layoffs: Obamacare is flat out making it harder to find employment opportunities as companies are weary of the costs and complications of hiring additional employees, particularly full-time ones.
3) Latinos tend to be a younger demographic group (the median age of Latinos is roughly a decade younger than the average American). And how does Obamacare negatively impact the youth in particular? Easy — the premiums are structured so that the young (and presumably healthy) pay far more than they ordinarily would, in order to offset lower premium costs for the rest. "OK, well, I just won't get health insurance if I'm young and healthy," you might retort. Sorry, wrong answer! Do that, and you'll face a hefty tax (ahem! 'penalty') each year you forego this mandate.
So, to my fellow Latinos, I say: Despiértense. Esta ley es un fraude. Merecemos mejor.