On Thursday, Congressional Republicans narrowly passed the American Health Care Act, which could repeal and replace Obamacare, legislation that caused a major reduction in the number of people without health insurance, including Latinxs.
With that, our gente will also be impacted by Trumpcare, should it pass the Senate as is. Here’s what the GOP health care bill could mean for Latinas.
Fewer People insured: Latinxs are less likely to have health insurance than any other racial-ethnic group in the country. In 2015, about 27 percent of Latinxs between the ages 18-64 was uninsured. While we still have the highest number of people without health insurance, under Obamacare, Latinxs reached historic gains. Through the GOP health care bill, however, it is expected that about 24 million people will be uninsured by 2016, with one of the groups with the most to lose being Latinxs.
Drop in Medicaid Coverage: Before Obamacare, it was almost impossible for low-income people without children to receive Medicaid coverage. ACA expanded the program so that adults making up to 133 percent of the federal poverty line, which is $15,800 for individuals and $32,319 for families of four, could gain coverage. This also helped decrease the number of uninsured people in the U.S. However, under Trumpcare, the coverage expansion would only last till 2019, with no new eligible people added to Medicaid rolls after that.
Pre-Existing Conditions: The ACA includes a pre-existing condition clause that bars insurance companies from charging people with any pre-existing conditions more. With this measure gone, millions of Latinas who are survivors of rape, domestic violence, postpartum depression, Cesarean sections and more, all considered pre-existing conditions, could pay higher premiums for the rest of their lives.
Planned Parenthood: By passing the bill, House Republicans also took a step toward defunding Planned Parenthood, which sees about 575,000 Latinx patients nationwide annually. The reproductive health provider could lose about 30 percent of its funding because of a provision in the bill that would block it from getting Medicaid reimbursements for one year unless it stops offering abortion services, even though no federal funds go to the procedure.