The Administration’s decision to cut health care in the midst of a global pandemic is cruel and unconscionable.
WASHINGTON—Yesterday, the Trump administration requested the U.S. Supreme Court overturn the Affordable Care Act (ACA), despite the fact that it has allowed millions of people, including over 2 million Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (AAs and NHPIs), to obtain health insurance. In its legal brief, the Administration argues that the ACA is unconstitutional because Congress ended the individual financial penalty for not having health insurance coverage in 2017. Juliet K. Choi, executive vice president of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) released the following statement:
“The Trump administration’s urging of the Supreme Court to overturn the Affordable Care Act in the midst of a global pandemic is cruel and un-American. In a time when families are struggling to pay rent and bills due to record unemployment, we must instead work to improve access to quality, affordable health care.
As of today, there are almost 2.5 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States and over 126,000 deaths. Persistent disparities across communities of color are now intensified. For example, Asian Americans enrolled in Medicare are experiencing a 50% higher rate of COVID-19 related hospitalization when compared to Whites. In states that have released detailed enough data, Pacific Islanders have among the most severe COVID-19 infection rates per capita, such as in California, Oregon and Colorado. At a time our country is mourning, the Trump administration is pushing to take health care away from millions, reversing the elimination of many disparities in coverage for AAs and NHPIs.
Families should not have to worry about whether they can afford treatment for COVID-19 or even basic health care. In fact, Congress must go further in ensuring those who are not covered now, can access COVID-19 related care. The situation is only exacerbated due to many AAs and NHPIs working on the front-lines to serve our country. Repealing the ACA would eliminate key civil rights protections, end coverage of essential services, delete data collection standards and undo the law’s provisions to address racial disparities.
APIAHF has been, and will continue to, monitor this case, and we will remain committed to working with our coalitions and partners to defend access to affordable health care and the ACA for our communities.”
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The Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) influences policy, mobilizes communities, and strengthens programs and organizations to improve the health of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.