In 2013, half of Latino young adults age 18-34 were uninsured, and the passing of the Affordable Care Act was supposed to reduce those numbers. Seven years later, however, a total of 10.1 million Latinos remain uninsured nationwide. This talk, based on a forthcoming book with New York University Press, tells the stories of uninsured Latinos’ experiences with the Affordable Care Act in Chicago to understand why some managed to enroll and why many did not. Based on a three-year longitudinal ethnography of 40 uninsured young adults, this book takes a deep look at the multiple and intersecting social structures driving Latinos’ lack of access to health insurance. From the criminalized informal health care economy to gendered family obligations, Vargas unveils many hidden barriers facing uninsured Latinos, along with several community-based resources that can be used to circumvent them. A ground-breaking examination of life during the first three years of the Affordable Care Act, this study provides a sobering analysis of the work needed to restore citizen trust in the health care safety net.
Migration Research Dialogues