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Despite Obamacare, Many Latinos Seek Care in Mexico


Despite Obamacare, Many Latinos Seek Care in Mexico
Affordability, Affordability, Affordability 

(Washington, D.C.)According to press reports, many Latinos living near the U.S.- Mexico border continue to get their primary care in Mexico – and the trend may be accelerating due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. Many patients report that they receive more attention, and pay less for visits than in the U.S. – and that being insured under Obamacare has not helped. Instead, the health care law may be worsening the doctor shortage in the U.S. – increasing incentives to get care abroad. Those who cross the border for care say they get more time with doctors, as opposed to nurses or other assistants. This problem may grow worse as costs rise by double-digits, as projected by Avalere

A new study by McKinsey also points to high cost as a serious problem. According to a survey of those who shopped for insurance, just 50 percent of those who enrolled under the law this year intend to purchase insurance against next year. Among those who remained uninsured, just 23 percent say they will purchase it next year. For those who did not buy insurance, affordability was the key issue. The same study shows that in the month of April, affordability was the biggest reason people cited for not purchasing insurance. Among those who shopped but did not purchase a policy, 59 percent said it was due to cost.

Daniel Garza, Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative, released the following statement:  

"The supporters of the health care law have promised again and again that it would make care more affordable. That simply hasn't happened. This is one more broken promise, and America's Hispanic community is bearing the brunt of it. 

Millions of Americans are forced to purchase insurance because of a mandate they oppose. They are dealing with high premiums and deductibles. Millions more have not purchased insurance because it is too expensive – and they face a tax penalty for not complying. And even after spending nearly $2 trillion on health care reform, an increasing number of Latinos are traveling to Mexico for care that they find to be better and less expensive. It is time to reform the reform, and deliver on the broken promises."

For interviews with a LIBRE representative, please contact: Brian Faughnan, 703-678-4581 or Steven Cruz, 202-578-6173.