Monday, November 30, 2009

Latinos and ObamaCare

The major Latino newspaper in Los Angeles, La Opinión has a poll that is claiming that a solid majority of Latinos is expressing support for government run healthcare - or as they phrase it, 'universal health care that includes a public option.'

Further, they claim that it's the most important single issue to this group, more than immigration, more than the economy and more than the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Health care reform is now expected by Latinos and [is] very important to them. The issue is on the national agenda and they definitely want to see action on this bill", said associate professor of political science, Matt Barreto of the University of Washington, and a partner in Latino Decisions.

The mechanics of the poll, which claims to have surveyed 1,000 registered voters who identify themselves as Latino in the 21 states that have the largest Latino populations were not given, so I have no way of knowing whether the poll was deliberately skewed towards registered Democrats and towards groups like Mexican Americans or Salvadoreans rather than Cubans or Puerto Ricans.And it is a small sampling, considering the diversity of the group involved.

Regardless, the findings are interesting.

"Even if they are covered, they probably have a family member or somebody they know who is uninsured. It’s a population that is very conscious of this problem", said Gabriel Sanchez, assistant professor of political science at the University of New Mexico. {...}

"I think it´s right for us and for our health. México is a poor country and we have a public program. Why not in the United States? This is a rich country," said Ojeda, mother of three, referring to Mexico´s social security program. Her husband and younger child are covered but she and the other two children are uninsured.

The survey also found that 61% of voting Latinos support the idea that the federal government must insure universal health care, even if it requires a tax increase. {...}

Latinos support a number of strategies to pay for reform, but their favorite one echoes the idea of President Barack Obama to tax the rich: 44% support this idea strongly and another 23% generally support it.

This brings a couple of questions to mind, especially if the numbers are accurate.

Over 42% of American tax payers pay no taxes at all, and a significant portion of those receive an earned income credit as a 'refund' regardless of their legal status, using EIN numbers.What percentage of the poll's respondents fall into that 42% who pay no taxes?

What income level do the respondents consider 'the rich' and how many of them fall into that category they want heavily taxed to pay for their health care?

Mrs. Ojeda's response quoted above was especially revealing.

She lives in Southern California, where health co-ops like Kaiser are relatively affordable, yet by her own admission her family has two children more than they can afford to take care of adequately.Does she think it fair that other people should pay for the care she either can't or won't provide for them? Is the Ojeda family part of the portion of taxpayers in California that actually pay taxes, and if so is she willing to pay higher taxes? The answer is obviously no, because the Ojedas have made a choice thus far not to pay an increased premium to insure her other two children.

Instead, what she likely does when either she or her kids need medical attention is to take her two kids to an emergency room at a local hospital (anything from a broken leg to an earache) where it is provided 'gratis' at someone else's expense. She's far from alone in doing this, since this practice is widespread in California and elsewhere. While no one wants to see sick children denied medical care,because of this practice what used to be an occasional exercise in charity and humanity has had a great deal to do with bankrupting California's hospitals and ER rooms in a state already struggling with huge deficits and running out of 'rich' to tax. Is Mrs. Ojeda prepared to endure waiting for months to see a doctor instead of just nipping down to the local ER?

How do Mrs. Ojeda or the other respondents feel about the role illegal aliens have played in making care more expensive, since health insurance premiums have had to be raised to pick up the slack to provide free care for them? Are they fine with the idea that free health care will attract a great many more illegal aliens to further overload the system? Are they OK with the idea of paying much higher premiums and/or higher taxes for inferior care that takes longer for them to receive?

Somehow, I have a feeling the pollsters didn't ask any of these questions..or even spend any time thinking about them.

What we have here is a good indication of what happens when people have an entitlement mentality and are able to vote to have others - the 'rich'- pay their way for them. What doesn't occur to them is that sooner or later, you run out of 'the rich', quality health care becomes a thing of the past and you have problems even finding enough doctors.

When that happens, 'gratis' translates into 'nada'. Or another pungent six letter word in Spanish that starts with the letter 'm'.



Anonymous said...

"The answer is obviously no, because the Ojedas have obviously made a choice thus far not to pay an increased premium to insure her other two children."

Here's the real deal...Mrs. Ojeda and her two older kids are illegals living off the rest of us. Kid number 3 is the anchor baby, and is probably on MediCal.

Fed Up & Goin' Galt

Right Truth said...

You ask all the right questions and come up with many of the right assumptions.

Also anonymous could be right in his assumption.

First, birth control is available and easy, if you can't afford to get pregnant and take care of more children, don't do it.

Second, as you know Rob my husband is an ER physician now and we previously had a solo private practice. So we've had experience with dead beats who don't have insurance, won't pay their bills. These come in all colors and nationalities by the way, we have illegals here also.

Everyone gets treated. Period. There is no debate there.

At some point it will not be profitable for some doctors and some hospitals to stay in business, and yes it is a business.

We are certainly not rich, but I'll bet that Mrs. Ojeda and those like here assume we are and assume we can take care of their extra needs forever.

What she does not realize is that we have to pay our own insurance, nobody pays for it. My husband is considered a private contractor, so he pays our health insurance, life insurance, all his own malpractice insurances, in addition to the high taxes, continuing medical training, and on and on.

At some point those who don't work in government in Washington are going to get sick of working for someone else.

You can bet that if government health care gets passed, many doctors will quit working, go into something else, retire early, whatever.

These people do not stop to think about all the years of working and scraping and saving and attending school, college, medical school, internship, and on and on, before a doctor makes any money. Nor do they consider the sacrifices of family to get the doctor actually practicing and taking care of patients.


We have some doctors here who we thought were conservatives, but they saw Obama and thought he would be great and they voted for him.

They are not so happy with their votes now.

Right Truth

suek said...

Here ya go, Debbie...

Help them out!