January 14, 2016

WASHINGTON – Today, the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) released the following statement of support for President Obama’s 2017 budget proposal, which would provide three years of full federal funding to states choosing to expand Medicaid.

“We cannot praise this decision enough because it would help fulfill the promise of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – health care for all,” said Kathy Ko Chin, APIAHF president and CEO. “Before the ACA, one in seven Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders did not have the health insurance they needed. Offering the same level of federal funding to states, regardless of when they expand, would bring us another step closer to providing all families with a healthy future. We call on Congress to pass this commonsense proposal.”

The Administration estimates that if all states expanded Medicaid, about 798,000 uninsured Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders would be eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Louisiana is the most recent state to expand its Medicaid program, which will extend coverage to about 300,000 people on July 1. The White House reports that expansion will lower the state’s cost by about $200 million for uncompensated care. Nineteen states still refuse to expand their Medicaid programs to hard-working, struggling adults. This disproportionately impacts low-income people of color who comprise the majority of people eligible for Medicaid.