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Demographic Study Shows Latinos Live Longer, In Poor Health Sooner

DrRogelioSaena,UTSA Coll Public Policy.JPG
Eileen Pace
Texas Public Radio

Latinos may have unique hurdles in getting affordable health care without the Obamacare plan in their future.

Dr. Rogelio Saenz, UTSA’s Dean of Public Policy, said Latinos have the highest levels of non-insurance in the country, and in Texas; they also have the biggest hurdles to climb.

"If you don't have the access to preventive kind of health,  that really puts you in a very difficult situation, particularly when you're talking about people living in the margins that are barely living week to week or a paycheck every two weeks or so," Saenz said. 

Saenz said fear among the powerful is visible in programs like the multi-state legislation to require Voter IDs and gerrymandering of Congressional districts. He also said there is a notion among the powerful that the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is something for the poor.

Saenz said Latinos will need Obamacare, especially in their elder years. His demographic study found that Latinos live longer than other groups, but their health in later years is much worse than that of whites or African-Americans, and that Latinos have higher levels of disability starting in their late 30s.

Saenz said America’s demographic script is set and will be increasingly made up of Latinos. Population projections from 2008 suggest that populations will increase from 49.7 million in 2010 to 132.8 million in 2015, during which time there will be an increase of only 2.5 million Anglos.

Saenz presented his study as part of the La Fe Policy Research and Education Center’s conference on The future of Latino Health at UTSA.