The Republican Party is having a hard time dealing with the rebuke it received in the November elections. Party leaders pretty quickly determined that the growing Hispanic vote could not be ignored and that immigrant bashing might not be the wisest policy to pursue. That’s led to talk of some compromise on immigration reform with the Democrats, although I’ll believe it when I see a law passed by Congress.
Many Republicans see Hispanics as a natural constituency: socially conservative, business-oriented, etc. And there may be some truth there.
But there’s another issue that stands squarely in the way: health care policy. Latinos have the lowest rate of health insurance coverage of any ethnic group and are big supporters of ObamaCare. Maybe health care was equally or more important than immigration in Obama’s success in November. I have no doubt that continued opposition to the Affordable Care Act will cost the GOP support at the national level. Resistance to Medicaid expansion at the state level is likely to hurt Republicans among Hispanics in places such as Texas, where Governor Perry’s rejection of ObamaCare has a direct and noticeable effect on the Hispanic community.
Universal health care is something people expect, even in middle income countries, never mind in the US. After all Mexico has found a way to offer health care coverage to everyone. Maybe we’ll soon hear of Americans seeking entry to Mexico to get health insurance.