A group of congressional Democrats recently expressed concerned over the impact of the Obamacare repeal on Hispanic communities. The group thinks the move would impact this demographic group disproportionately as Latinos face some of the nation’s highest rates of obesity, asthma, and diabetes.
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) now calls for a replacement before Republicans repeal the law. The statements come days after a measure House Republicans passed Friday to undo President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare overhaul.
Repeal will Impact Hispanics the Most
Republicans have tried countless times to dismantle the law but this time they might be victorious. With Obama no longer in office, they have nothing to fear. What’s more, they are using a special procedure called budget reconciliation which prevents any filibuster on the Senate floor.
Democrats can only argue that the move would affect the health care of millions of Americans living with serious illnesses. Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.) said last week the CHC wants to ensure Hispanics with diabetes, obesity and asthma won’t have to pay more for health insurance.
Ruiz thinks that repealing the entire law would deny these people vital health insurance. Hispanics are the ethnic group with the highest rates of obesity, asthma, and type 2 diabetes in the U.S. The health care law benefited them the most because of a provision which barred insurers from denying coverage to people with preexisting conditions.
On the one hand, the GOP claims Obamacare cannot be fixed as ever increasing premiums suggest, so a repeal is the only viable solution.
This [law] is collapsing under its own weight, and we have to step in and save people from this,
House Speaker Paul Ryan recently said.
The Rising Premiums Issue
On the other hand, Democrats claim that there is a way to fix climbing premiums and that the law helped keep costs in check more than Republicans acknowledge. Rep. Linda Sánchez admitted premiums rose but added they rose at a lower pace than pre-Obamacare premiums did.
Sánchez argues that if it weren’t for Obamacare the premiums would have barred everyone from affording coverage. Ruiz, however, admitted the price of premiums are a problem.
He said lawmakers should first find the root cause of the increases in health care costs over the years. Even though Obamacare reduced the rate of rise of premiums and deductibles, people still place the blame on the law for the money they have to pay out of their pockets.
Ruiz thinks some of the primary causes may be a shortage in medical professionals, low competition among drug makers, and few coverage options especially in the countryside.
I believe in market economics, but you need to have competition,
the lawmaker said.
He underlined America has no longer competition when it comes to some drugs and health insurance in some regions. The CHC also criticized the GOP for pushing forward a repeal without a backup plan to replace it.
Rep. Tony Cárdenas noted Republicans have tried to repeal the law for seven years but they still failed to come with an alternative. Republicans say they have a plan to replace Obamacare. They claim they have the measures that can actually trim costs and put “patients back in charge of their medicals decisions”.
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