HHS must do more to close the Latino coverage gap; state officials who’ve resisted ACA implementation bear responsibility for making it worse.
For Immediate Release: Friday, May 2, 2014
Contact: Kathy Mulady, Communications Director, email@example.com, (206) 992-8787
Seattle, WA – The Alliance for a Just Society released the following statement from executive director LeeAnn Hall in response to the Department of Health & Human Services’ first release of race and ethnicity data yesterday for enrollees in the Affordable Care Act’s federally-facilitated marketplace:
“While we commend HHS for releasing data on the racial and ethnic breakdown of enrollments, we are gravely concerned about the deficit in Latino enrollment. Only 10.7 percent of enrollees in the federal marketplace who reported/race ethnicity were Latino, compared to an estimated 14.5 percent in the marketplace-eligible population. We can and must do better.
“Latinos already have the highest uninsured rate, at 31 percent in 2012. It appears likely that the combination of some states’ ongoing resistance to implementing the health law and a too-late outreach push by the Administration may have allowed the coverage gap in Latino communities to grow wider this year.
“We cannot allow this pattern to be repeated. The cost to Latino communities is too great. HHS should start now to set targets and build robust plans for Latino outreach for the next open enrollment period. As for state lawmakers who’ve blocked Medicaid expansion and hindered marketplace outreach efforts, they bear responsibility for actively worsening the Latino coverage gap and should either get on the health care bandwagon or be prepared to explain themselves to their constituents.”
The Alliance for a Just Society, based in Seattle, WA, is a national research, policy and organizing network that focuses on health care, economic, racial and social justice.