Healthcare played a big role in the last Democratic Presidential debate on Sunday. The Democratic front-runners had differing proposals on this issue that seems to be particularly important to Latinos. In contrast, Secretary Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders tended to share the same ideas regarding immigration and economic issues, including minimum wage.
Even though Latinos have had the greatest benefits following the Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act (ACA), they still are the racial group with the highest rate of uninsured, since one-third of nonelderly Latinos have neither Medicaid, nor private insurance. Therefore, healthcare is one of the most relevant issues to them, even above immigration.
The rate of uninsured Latino children has reached a historic low in the first year of the ACA, according to a report released last week by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families alongside the National Council of La Raza. The number of Hispanic children without insurance dropped from 2 million in 2013 to 1.7 million in 2014.
According to the 2014 Midterm election, 86 percent of Latino voters said that healthcare was very or extremely important to them, whereas 73 percent of them said they considered immigration was either very or extremely important to them.
Sanders released his healthcare plan two hours before the NBC-YouTube debate. If the Senator win, the United States would have Universal Healthcare. The Medicare-for-all system would replace Obamacare and require increased taxes, particularly for the wealthiest citizens.
As healthcare became the main topic of discussion regarding domestic policy, Clinton remarked she wanted to improve upon the ACA. The secretary argued that a single-payer system was not likely to succeed under Republican opposition and emphasized the positive results of the current policy, admitting that it still required further improvement.
Moreover, Clinton said that the current healthcare system provides a path to universal healthcare.
“We’ve accomplished so much already. I do not want to see the Republicans repeal it. And I don’t wanna see us start over again with a contentious debate. I want us to defend and build on the Affordable Care Act and improve it,” stated Clinton.
On the other hand, Senator Sanders highlighted that the ACA had left no positive outcomes. He said that to date, 29 million people remain uninsured while the nation is paying the highest prices worldwide for prescription drugs. His proposal, Sanders stated, was to provide health care to everyone and reduce the cost of healthcare for middle-class families by $5,000.
It is clear that the discussion on healthcare will be on the table over the next several months. Let’s see how the campaigns will best address the domestic policy issue that has been affecting Latino voters the most, considering that the majority of them lean toward the Democratic Party.
Source: NBC News