Those who argue that Republicans should embrace immigration reform are fond of telling us that Hispanics are natural conservatives. That is, I think, a dubious proposition even when applied to the social issues. But how does it hold up across the rest of the political issue spectrum? Obamacare is an excellent test case; if most Hispanics are natural conservatives, they should be instinctively suspicious of a big government power grab.
Unfortunately, that is not the case. MediaPost conducted a survey–not a political poll, but a marketing survey. The idea was to find out how Hispanics are likely to utilize the Obamacare exchanges, and how they may influence health care marketing. The results are disquieting:
Hispanic intent to enroll is largely driven by a more positive opinion of the ACA and what it can do for their families. Fifty-three percent of uninsured Hispanics surveyed “strongly agreed” that the ACA would provide them with more healthcare choices. This is in contrast to 27% of non-Hispanics. Hispanics are also almost twice as likely as non-Hispanics to believe that the ACA will make health insurance more affordable for themselves and their families (47% of Hispanics vs. 24% of non-Hispanics), and are significantly more likely than non-Hispanics to believe that the overall quality of healthcare will improve with the ACA (44% of Hispanics vs. 21% of non-Hispanics).
Those are grim numbers. More:
Our research shows that Hispanics are twice as likely as non-Hispanics to expect that the ACA will make prescription medications more affordable (43% of Hispanics vs. 21% of non-Hispanics), and, once enrolled, nearly 40% plan to use them more often. Just 27% of non-Hispanics said the same thing.
To put it gently, these are not the views of natural conservatives. Rather, they reflect an inflated expectation of government, and what it can do for you, compared with the rest of the population. I don’t know why this is true; maybe it is a legacy of statist tendencies in Mexico and other Latin countries. In any event, these data certainly don’t support the idea that it will be politically advantageous for Republicans (or conservatives) to create millions more Hispanic voters.