Obamacare's Terrible Impact on Hispanics

September 25, 2013 - 9:32 AM

Here's something you won't hear from the Hispanic media, the mainstream media, or the White House: Among the many terrible side effects of Obamacare is its adverse effects on Hispanics.

This stems from the fact that the Hispanic population is one of the youngest, in addition to Obamacare's impact on the wholesale and retail industry, which employs many Hispanic Americans.

Wholesale and retail will be hit especially hard by Obamacare, because, as one consultant noted, "employers not currently offering coverage to all employees working at least 30 hours a week may be more inclined to change their workforce strategy so that fewer employees meet that threshold."

But don't expect a press release on this hard truth, considering that the national unemployment rate for Hispanics is higher than the national average at almost 10 percent. Ignore the man behind the curtain who reminds you that retailers and hospitals are laying off workers and dropping coverage for part-time employees. Pay no attention to exemptions for labor unions and Members of Congress or the fact that a Senator from the President's own party described Obamacare as a "train wreck."

What's more, considering that 65 percent of Hispanics are millennials, they can expect to pay more to cover costs for wealthier Americans. Rates will likely increase by an average of 169 percent for the young, while older people will pay about 22 percent less, according to Generation Opportunity, a national organization committed to promoting liberty to young Americans.

As Stephen Moore aptly described in a recent Wall Street Journal column, President Obama's policies are hitting his voters the hardest. Although Hispanics overwhelmingly voted to re-elect President Obama, Hispanic heads-of-households' income has fallen by 4.5 percent since 2009, according to consultants at Sentier, which studied the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey.

Besides the growing federal deficit, Obamacare surely shoulders much of the blame on why our economy is not growing. As my colleague Ed Haislmaier aptly put it, "If you want to have reduced work, lower wages and economic stagnation, [Obamacare] is a great way to do it."

This is confirmed by a recent U.S. Chamber of Commerce survey that showed that 74 percent of small business owners are positioning themselves to slash hours, lay off workers, or both. This sobering finding is better understood when considering that Obamacare will continue to burden businesses with increased regulation compliance costs and increases to the Medicare payroll tax and establish a new Medicare surtax, as explained in this Heritage Issue Brief.

This surely can't make things easier for Hispanic-owned businesses, which have nearly doubled in number over the past decade.

Hispanics, like all Americans, are looking for an opportunity to make an honest living through meaningful employment. It's just too bad that President Obama's signature legislative achievement is the absolute single biggest impediment to growing our economy and creating jobs. Here's hoping the Hispanic community will soon realize this awful reality.

Editor's Note: Israel Ortega is the Strategic Initiatives Manager and Editor of Heritage Libertad, the Heritage Foundation's Spanish-language website.