Great News: Republicans May Be Tempted to Embrace ObamaCare to Win Over Latino Voters
ObamaCare was and is among the most destructive policies ever devised. It is killing jobs as Republicans predicted, and is also an intrusion on religious freedom. It threatens to put government between citizen and doctor, and creates unaffordable entitlements. Over time, it stands a good likelihood of bankrupting the private insurance industry, paving the way for a full government healthcare takeover. Whether that takeover happens before or after our debt catches up with us now is a grim parlor game. Either way, bad things are on the horizon and ObamaCare has a lot to do with that.
But thanks to the 1986 immigration amnesty in which the border was never secured, the porous border and the fight over the next amnesty, Republicans who despise ObamaCare on principle may find themselves embracing it anyway. If, that is, they want to win over a larger share of the Hispanic vote.
Latinos, who have the lowest rates of health coverage in the country, are among the strongest backers of President Obama's healthcare law. In a recent national poll, supporters outnumbered detractors by more than 2 to 1. Latinos also overwhelmingly see guaranteeing healthcare as a core government responsibility, surveys show.
"This is going to hurt Republicans," said Matt Barreto, cofounder of Latino Decisions, a nonpartisan national polling firm. "When Republicans keep saying they will repeal the health law, Latinos hear the party is going to take away their healthcare."
In one widely aired [Obama campaign] television ad, Cristina Saralegui, a popular talk-show host, explained in Spanish how the law would help millions of Latinos get health insurance. In another, a campaign volunteer visiting a middle-aged man with diabetes, which is widespread among Latinos, said: "Family is important to President Obama, and he understands that families that are fighters sometimes have lost everything when someone gets sick."
Surveys indicate that close to 30% of Latino citizens and legal permanent residents lack health insurance. By comparison, just 11% of white and 17% of black Americans are uninsured, according to the latest data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Starting next year, the health law will provide hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies to low-income Americans and legal residents to help pay insurance premiums. Illegal immigrants cannot receive these subsidies.
They can if they're granted legal status. Those subsidies that the Times mentions are paid for by taxpayers who are already paying for their own insurance. It would be nice if the media ever got around to discussing that.
The news here gets even better.
Nearly half of Latinos in a recent Pew Research Center poll said they trusted the federal government to do the right thing "always" or "most of the time." Just 20% of white respondents felt that way. And two-thirds of Latinos believed the federal government should ensure that everyone has access to health insurance, a 2012 Latino Decisions survey found.
It's an interesting thing, how people who have suffered under the worst governance nevertheless trust government to do right? Where, in the average Mexican immigrant's experience, has any government done "the right thing" for them? Governments and businesses on both sides of the border take turns exploiting them. Now through ObamaCare there's an effort to buy them, but that comes at the cost of bankrupting the country eventually.
Some Republicans will be tempted to embrace ObamaCare, just as they're tempted to embrace amnesty for illegal aliens now, in pursuit of the fast-growing Latino vote. Embracing either would be a mistake; embracing both may well kill off the GOP for good. Embrace one and you destroy your law and order and national sovereignty credentials, embrace the other and your credibility and small government principles are gone. The only thing the GOP would still have would be the evangelical vote, and the medialeft are already having an easy time marginalizing us.
The GOP is in a tough spot and there are no easy or quick fixes. Panders and surrenders on key principles will only end up destroying it. The party is going to have to find a leader who can and will articulate its principles in ways that resonate and connect across demographic lines, and then follow that leader.