By Alex Gonzalez
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), or ObamaCare, is now presenting Latinos with a federal mandate that will possibly put Latinos in precarious financial strains since some will not be able to afford the penalties, especially Latinos living on a fixed income, or below the federal poverty level. ACA will expand Medicaid, a health care program that provides access to about 50% of Hispanics, of which 9 millions are Hispanic children. Therefore, understanding the dynamic of how ACA hurts Latinos, or small businesses is imperative to help Hispanics to avoid “tax” penalties while keeping basic access to health care for blue-collar Latinos. More importantly, Latinos need to understand the cost associated with Medicaid v. Medicare and Social Security, and where the revenue comes for such programs.
There are specific demands in the ACA legislation that will inevitably constrain the growth of businesses. 1) ACA legislation puts a limit on how many employees business must have to avoid penalties. As a result, businesses with less than 50 employees will not be subjected to the mandate, and thus, encouraging some business to let go some workers just to meet the 50 worker threshold. 2) ACA could prevent any business owners because owners will not have any incentives to hire more than 50 employees, and thereby, hindering economic growth in the US since small businesses creates 64% of all new jobs in the US.
Moreover, ACA adds another layer of bureaucracy at the cost of $168 billion to an already crippled healthcare system. Currently, every year the federal government must borrow about $500 billion to pay for unfunded portions of Medicare and Social Security since most Americans only pay about 38% of what they receive in benefits. Hence, ACA exacerbates budget deficit and national debt since it does not fixed unfunded entitlement programs, programs that completely leave Hispanics out since only 8% of Medicare and Social Security beneficiaries are Hispanics. Currently, the Elder Hispanic population is the US is only 6.5%.
In addition, ACA does not stop the “transferred of wealth” from young Millennia Latinos to boomers. That’s because, in Paul Ryan’s words, “The distribution of government transfers has moved away from households in the lower part of the income scale. In effect, Social Security and Medicare have been transferring money from low earning young people (who don’t pay income tax but are hit by the payroll tax) to increasingly affluent old people; which is the main reason why AARP supports ACA while opposing any changes to the current entitlements programs. Further, 20% of the Millennia generation–ages of 18-35—in the U.S. is Hispanic. But the Millennia generation is the segment of the population with the highest number of uninsured Americans.
Consequently, ACA, presents a contradiction for young uninsured Latino workers because, while it may offer healthcare access via a government mandate, it does not stop the ‘transferred of wealth” from young Americans to fund Medicare, Social Security—programs that will not be there for the Latino millennia generation. Thus, ACA only adds financial burden to young Latinos and the Millennia generation since Latinos are only 8% of Medicare Social Security enrollees but they represent the largest percentage of underage Americans and 20% of the Millennia Generation.
Note. from the analysis by the Heritage Foundation, Hoover Institute, and America Institute Enterprise point to the fact the Medicare and Social Security are the main causes of deficit and the national debt, all of which have no relation to the Latino Millennia or under age population.
Read the Full Study as PDF file here: Latinos, ObamaCare and Entitlements Pdf File or