The Affordable Care Act, the Medicaid Coverage Gap, and Hispanic Consumers: A Phenomenology of Obamacare

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2018


The historic health care reform of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare, enabled more than 20 million Americans to gain health insurance and access to health care. However, the original mandate requiring states to expand Medicaid was ruled as optional in 2012 by the Supreme Court. Focusing on Hispanic consumers residing in a state that opted out of the Medicaid expansion, this study reports on the consumer experience of Obamacare. Findings show that study participants are in an unfavorable situational context, better understood when the cultural context is considered, and cultural resistance recognized. The findings also show that participants are confused, discouraged, and fearful of the continued unaffordability of health insurance and the lawful need to enroll or be penalized. For these participants, affordable health insurance has not been realized and this research gives an insight on those individuals falling through the cracks.


Copyright 2017 by The American Council on Consumer Interests

Publication Title

Journal of Consumer Affairs