For Immediate Release
May 25, 2011

Washington, DC – The Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) today urged the U.S. Senate to protect seniors and low- and moderate income families by rejecting the House-passed fiscal year 2012 budget, H. Con. Res. 34.

On April 15, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a budget which ends Medicare as we know it and replaces it with a voucher system, increasing seniors’ costs and reducing benefits, for all those currently under age 55. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) states that under this budget plan, seniors would bear a much larger share of their health care costs than they would under the traditional program. Under this budget plan by 2030 seniors would be paying 68 percent of their health care costs – with the voucher covering only 32 percent.

“More than one in ten Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander seniors relies on Medicare or Medicaid and this budget would more than double the typical senior’s out-of-pocket health care spending,” said Kathy Lim Ko, APIAHF president and CEO. “We shouldn’t take away the guaranteed coverage seniors have paid for and put them at the mercy of private insurance companies. Our road map to economic recovery cannot rely on tax cuts for the wealthy and the dismantling of essential services for those who need it the most.”

“This budget slashes protections for our most vulnerable while carving out trillions in new tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy. Nearly two-thirds of the cuts in this budget come from programs that serve people of limited means. Our deficit reduction plans should neither increase poverty nor inequality,” said Ko. “This budget will hurt low- and moderate-income people, threaten our fragile economy through the loss of jobs, leave millions without vital medical coverage, and close off opportunities for our children to share in future economic growth.”

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.