Thursday, September 20, 2012

Obama's Economy, Healthcare Law Still Hammering Away at Arizona, Hispanics

Healthcare Law Penalizes Uninsured, Hispanics Twice As Likely to Lack Health Insurance

PHOENIX – When President Obama's healthcare law goes into full effect in 2014, millions of Americans who don't have health insurance will be forced to pay an average penalty of $1,200. As seen in a new report from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office released yesterday, government officials are still measuring the impact of the healthcare law passed more than two years ago, and the news is not good.

Arizona will be especially hard-hit by Obama's healthcare law, because not only is the unemployment rate among Hispanics already up to 10.2% -- more than two points higher than the national average -- the uninsured rate among Hispanics is 30%, nearly twice the national average of 16%. Arizona's Hispanic population is about 30% of Arizona's 6.5 million residents.

As the Associated Press reports:

"Nearly 6 million Americans — significantly more than first estimated— will face a tax penalty under President Barack Obama's health overhaul for not getting insurance, congressional analysts said Wednesday. Most would be in the middle class. The new estimate amounts to an inconvenient fact for the administration, a reminder of what critics see as broken promises. The numbers from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office are 50 percent higher than a previous projection by the same office in 2010, shortly after the law passed. The earlier estimate found 4 million people would be affected in 2016, when the penalty is fully in effect." (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Associated Press, 9/19/2012)
"President Obama and Democrats like Richard "Rubberstamp" Carmona that support this new healthcare law are ignoring Arizona's residents, especially Hispanics,” said Arizona Republican Party spokesman Tim Sifert. "Every day we hear bad news about either the economy or healthcare, but today it's both -- and the only good news is that we have the opportunity to stop Obama and Carmona and put Mitt Romney in the White House and Jeff Flake in the U.S. Senate.”


Health Insurance and Hispanics

Uninsured rate national average among all groups is 15.7% ("Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2011" United States Census Bureau, Table 7)

Uninsured rate among Hispanics is 30.1%, or 15.8 million people ("Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2011" United States Census Bureau, Table 7)

Obama's Healthcare Penalizes Uninsured

After accounting for those who will not be subject to the penalty tax, CBO and JCT now estimate that about 6 million people will pay a penalty because they are uninsured in 2016 (a figure that includes uninsured dependents who have the penalty paid on their behalf) and that total collections will be about $7 billion in 2016 and average about $8 billion per year over the 2017–2022 period. Those estimates differ from projections that CBO and JCT made in April 2010: About two million more uninsured people are now projected to pay the penalty each year, and collections are now expected to be about $3 billion more per year. ("Payments of Penalties for Being Uninsured Under the Affordable Care Act," Congressional Budget Office, 9/19/12)

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