Report: 225,000 Nevada Latinos Could Lose Healthcare with AHCA
CARSON CITY, Nev. - A new report predicts that 225,000 Nevada Latinos younger than age 65 could lose health coverage if the U.S. Senate's revised health-care repeal bill keeps the cuts passed by the House.
According to analysts from Families USA and the National Council of La Raza, the rate of uninsured Latinos in that age group dropped from 34 percent in 2013 to 19 percent in 2015, and warn that the gains could be erased with massive cuts to Medicaid.
Sinsi Hernandez-Cancio, health-equity director for Families USA, said Latinos are more likely to work in industries that don't offer health insurance on the job - and thus, they benefited more than any other group from Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.
"In Nevada, the rate for the Latino uninsured fell even more than the national average, by 44 percent," she said, "and for Latino kids in particular, the uninsured rate was cut in half."
The groups also found that the Republican alternative would remove about $5 billion in federal funds from the Nevada economy. The Commonwealth Fund estimated it would hurt hospitals and trim 7,600 jobs in the state.
Senate Republican leaders have said they will unveil their version of the American Health Care Act on Thursday. They promise it will reduce the deficit, lower premiums for younger people and remove the government mandate to buy insurance.
Hernandez-Cancio said she is concerned about how swing-state Republicans, including Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., will vote. She said she thinks any bill that insures fewer people, and allows companies to increase rates for older customers and those with pre-existing conditions isn't right for Nevadans.
"If we're looking at what happens to a 60-year-old with an income of $20,000 in Clark County," she said, "they're going to end up paying $6,400 more in premiums, not counting the higher deductibles that are likely to happen, the higher cost-sharing."
A progressive group known as "Organizing for Action" plans to hold what it calls a "Stop the Repeal" rally at 11 a.m. Friday in front of Heller's office at the Federal Building in Reno.
A fact sheet from Families USA is online at familiesusa.org.