Earlier, we found out from Marc Caputo’s reporting at the Miami Herald just how far Univision might go to push Hillary Clinton’s presidential ambitions in 2016. Kate Nocera at BuzzFeed now informs us that Univision isn’t waiting for 2016 to promote the Democrats’ agenda. The Spanish-language broadcaster is making a full-court push for ObamaCare, even as its audience grows increasingly disenchanted with the law:
For more than a year, the Spanish-language television network Univision has embarked on their own company-wide effort to get Latinos signed up on the exchanges, working through newscasts, special programming, advertising partnerships, and a dedicated health care website.
Univision has not only been providing information to their viewers as to how to sign up but openly encouraging them to do so.
The network’s “empowerment initiatives” team — which focuses primarily on health and educational programming — began looking for partners to help their audience find coverage last year. Univision ultimately went with the California Endowment and the Ford Foundation, launching in earnest last April.
The company makes no bones about what they were trying to do. Empowerment Initiatives Director Stephen Keppel told BuzzFeed that the company thinks “it’s better to have health insurance than not to have it” and because of the high number of uninsured Latinos, it was an important initiative for them to take on.
Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) lauds the “corporate responsibility” of Univision for its efforts. Oddly enough, Rep. Gutierrez was a lot less enamored of corporate speech in politics just a month ago, when he co-sponsored the “Government By the People Act,” which attempted to undo the effects of the Supreme Court’s Citizen United decision by subsidizing individual political donations. I wonder how Gutierrez feels about Hobby Lobby’s insistence that it has both an individual and corporate right to free religious expression?
Univision certainly has the right to conduct political speech, but let’s remember that it springs from the same Constitutional amendment as the right to religious expression, and Univision is a lot less closely held than Hobby Lobby or Citizens United. If Univision wants to brand itself as the Spanish-language arm of the Democratic Party, that’s their choice — but Republicans should take that into consideration when deciding on interviews and election debates.
Besides, the all-in looks a lot like hitching a wagon to a lame donkey, even in their demographic:
According to a new University of Texas poll, a majority of Texas Hispanics have an ‘unfavorable’ view of Obamacare, with an amazing 41% saying their view is ‘very unfavorable.’
“Supporters of the President’s health care law still insist its some great gift fro the nation’s Hispanics,” said Daniel Garza, who heads the LIBRE Initiative. “They keep telling Latinos to sign up and pay for plans, and make unilateral changes to their own deadlines in attempts to continue selling the law to the public. But Hispanics in Texas, just like other Hispanic communities across the country, have now lost all hope that any fixes or delays will improve this failed program.
The Texas numbers are matching figures which are emerging in other states. 57% of Hispanics in Colorado say they also disapproved of Obamacare. Nationally, a recent poll from The Pew Foundation illustrated that Hispanics were split on the law, signaling a sharp drop in support just since late last year.
It’s not just Texas either, but here’s the chart of the poll and its demographics:
In the same poll, ObamaCare favorability among independents is 21/59. A recent poll in Colorado shows 57% of Latinos voters in that state oppose ObamaCare, too. The most recent Pew poll looks only slightly better nationwide, with a 47/47 split among Latinos.
If Democrats think Univision will help turn Texas blue, they’d better rethink that policy. Right now, the only impact might be that it turns Univision off. And let’s circle back around to Univision’s 2o16 plans, too. With this kind of polling, does Univision really want to end up as the bridge connecting Hillary Clinton to ObamaCare advocacy in the next presidential cycle?