Here is something that may or may not surprise you: Hispanic-owned small businesses are actually growing at twice the national average and the Obama Administrations Affordable Care Act is actually helping these, and all businesses, grow with tax rebates to the tune of $1.1 Billion.
Nearly 13 million Americans will receive more than $1.1 billion in rebates this year – that comes to about $150 per household. One of the Affordable Care Act’s most important (read least well known) provisions requires insurance providers to spend 80-85 percent of health insurance premiums on health care, or return them to those who pay the premiums.
As we speak, checks from insurance companies to small businesses are finding their way into mailboxes all across the country. As Wendell Potter over at the Center for Public Integrity puts it: “most Americans are wondering what the heck is going on. Nobody, certainly not the local media, had clued them in on the fact that they might actually be able to put a few bucks in their pockets because of ObamaCare.”
This is big news, as Hispanics who are leading the way in Small Business ownership and overwhelmingly benefit from the Affordable care act. According to the census bureau, Latino-owned business’ revenue jumped by an astonishing 55 percent to nearly $350 billion over the last 5 years for which information was available. Some think that the census data underestimates the economic clout of Latino businesses, estimating the sales of such businesses in 2008 at $547 billion. Many are very substantial businesses with numerous employees, furthermore the number of Latino- owned businesses with more than $1 million in revenue grew to over 44,000 in 2007, up from just 29,000 five years earlier.
Mayra Alvarez, Director of Public Health Policy in the Office of Health Reform at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, puts a finer point on exactly how critical the Affordable Care Act is for the Hispanic community.
“Many Latinos have been left out of the healthcare system—not affording quality healthcare services, not understanding the system, or not realizing the importance of being well informed and empowered healthcare consumers. The impact is a community that often lags behind in almost every measure of health. Latinos are less likely to get the preventive care they need to stay healthy and more likely to suffer from a serious illness like diabetes or heart disease.”
Under the ACA, over 6 million more Hispanics are receiving expanded preventive services coverage in the private insurance market and over 500,000 Hispanics received no-cost preventive services through Medicare. It also expands Medicaid to families with income below 133 percent of the Federal poverty level, such as a family of four with income up to $29,000. Furthermore, nine million Hispanics will be eligible to get the health care coverage they lack today, thanks to ACA.
While some politicians continue to demonize and threaten to repeal the Affordable Care Act, looking at these numbers, the ACA seems to be doing pretty well for Hispanics and the country as a whole.
Kristian Ramos is the Policy Director of the 21st Century Border Initiative at NDN and The New Policy Institute.