Minority groups disproportionately use Medicare Advantage (MA), which is slated for a $118 billion cut. One in four MA enrollees is Hispanic/Latino; one in four is African American. Also, more than 80% of Hispanic/Latino Medicare-eligible seniors with incomes of less than $20,000 per year are enrolled in an MA plan.
Individual and employer mandates will disproportionately negatively impact low income, at risk populations. A June 2008 study, put out by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Massachusetts Foundation and Harvard School of Public Health, found that 50% of those impacted by the mandate (meaning they were uninsured in the 12 months prior to the survey at some point) believe people are worse off than they were prior to the reforms.
The employer responsibility component of the bill is fairly complicated, but contains significant disincentives for employers to hire low income workers. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (a liberal group) finds that “significant disincentives to hire or retain [workers from low- or moderate-income families] remain” in the bill.
The above is adapted from a report by The San Diego Union-Tribune.