04/02/2013 03:35 pm ET

Latino Support For Obamacare Poses Problem For Republican Hispanic Outreach

Republicans have another problem with Latinos, unrelated to immigration.

Polling data released in March by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that Latinos are among the biggest backers of Obamacare. Some 48 percent of Hispanics favor the law and 19 percent have an unfavorable view of it, compared to 30 percent favorable and 48 percent unfavorable for non-Hispanic whites, the Los Angeles Times reports.

That doesn’t bode well for the GOP’s Hispanic outreach, since many Republicans remain committed to overturning the Supreme Court-approved law.

Half of uninsured Latinos have incomes below the Medicaid expansion limit of 138 percent of the federal poverty level, according to the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. In states that decline to expand Medicaid, they will likely be left without insurance.

Hispanics are the ethnic group least likely to have health insurance, the study says.

The possibility of Republicans buckling under pressure from Latino voters to call off their attack on what they derisively call “Obamacare” riled conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh, who lashed out at the Los Angeles Times for pointing out the issue:

They're not asking the question. The LA Times is not asking it rhetorically. This is a pressure-packed question. "Well, hey, look, you guys, if you're gonna be consistent, if you're reaching out to Hispanics on amnesty and stuff, why not reach out to 'em on Obamacare, 'cause they want that, too?" Interesting question.

Why might Latinos remain so affectionate to the Affordable Care Act, despite Republican opposition? The Rachel Maddow blog offered this explanation:

There's no great mystery here. Latinos have the lowest rates of health coverage in the country, and strongly believe public access to affordable care should be a basic societal guarantee.

The view is consistent with polling data on Latino political attitudes. Some 75 percent of Hispanic voters said they preferred a larger government that provided more services, compared to just 41 percent of the general population, according poll released by the Pew Hispanic Center last year.



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