Tough times, tough choices: the impact of the rising medical costs on the U.S. Latino electorate's health care-seeking behaviors. Academic Article uri icon


  • Utilizing a survey of Latino registered voters conducted in Spring 2009, we focus our attention on the impact of the rapidly rising costs of health care on the health-seeking behavior of Latino registered voters, and the impact of high medical costs on their economic status. We find that a third of Latinos used up all or most of their savings and a quarter of Latinos skipped a recommended test or treatment due to high medical costs, rates that are particularly high given that our sample is of Latino registered voters. Furthermore having health insurance is not statistically related to preventing economic hardship due to medical costs for Latinos. Our results suggest that the expansion of insurance coverage alone will not insulate the Latino community from being faced with economic difficulties unless the reform policy directly addresses individual costs of care.

publication date

  • November 2012