Why Hispanics didn't get ObamaCare

Why didn’t most of the 10.2 million uninsured Latinos eligible for coverage buy health insurance this year?

In part, it’s because the administration fumbled. It delayed the launch of CuidadoDeSalud.gov—the Spanish-language enrollment website—until December, when it “soft launched” so that Latino groups working with the administration could test and report bugs.

Then when the administration did promote the website, users reported that the Spanish was a messy translation. Media reports about the accuracy of the translation were mixed, but suffice it to say that the Spanish language has many regional dialects that were not all reflected in the words used on CuidadoDeSalud.gov, making it more difficult for some native speakers to understand the health insurance application process.

More importantly, the administration delayed its outreach to the Latino population.

“They weren’t able to get it right in terms of campaigning the policy,” said Gabriel Sanchez, an associate professor and the interim executive director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico. “If they would have done more of that early on in the process, that would have been more effective. That shows direct investment and engagement.”