Bill builds on Affordable Care Act and adds critical coverage expansions for certain communities


WASHINGTON – Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that builds on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by expanding health coverage, making it more affordable and accessible. Juliet K. Choi, executive vice president of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, released the following statement:

“Last week the Trump administration requested the U.S. Supreme Court overturn the Affordable Care Act in the midst of a global pandemic. Yesterday, Congress took a bold step by passing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act, which expands health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act.

While the Affordable Care Act has profoundly improved the lives of millions and reduced coverage disparities amongst communities of color, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act fixes the gaps from the Affordable Care Act and protects families across the United States against recent actions by the Trump administration to undermine public health.

Notably this bill corrects a grave error that has prevented Compact of Free Association communities from getting care through Medicaid—communities that the U.S. swore to protect more than two decades ago. Funding for Navigator programs, which play a critical role in helping people get information and sign up for health care coverage, will be restored through this bill. As an organization that is proud to have co-led the only national effort leading to the education, outreach and enrollment of 1 million AAs and NHPIs through Action for Health Justice, we deeply appreciate and welcome this emphasis and funding on critical outreach and enrollment activities in this bill. 

Additionally, the bill will protect health care for DACA recipients, permanently fund CHIP, reduce burdensome eligibility determinations for Medicaid and CHIP, fully fund Medicaid expansion for the first three years for states that have yet to expand their programs, lower health insurance costs, reverse regulatory decisions that raised consumer costs and undercut protections and requires detailed data on enrollment and participation in the Marketplace.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread through the country and the Trump administration takes every opportunity to attack health care, we must continue to protect and expand health care access for all Americans and families.”

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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.