October 13, 2017
WASHINGTON – Following the Administration’s announcement to end the insurance subsidies that made health care affordable through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) released the below statement.
“The Administration’s end to the Affordable Care Act’s subsidies, or financial help, which allow millions of Americans to afford their monthly premiums, is an unconscionable attack on the health coverage that people are relying on,” said Kathy Ko Chin, APIAHF president and CEO. “Coupled with the Executive Order to increase non-compliant ACA plans as well as previous decisions, such as making a 90 percent reduction in federal outreach for open enrollment and 41 percent reduction in Navigator funding amount, the Administration is undermining the ACA at the cost of the health and well-being of Americans.”
At least 20 states found that the Administration’s threats to end the CSR payments has caused premiums to spike due to uncertainty. Millions of people living in those states, and almost certainly others, will no longer be able to afford their coverage, which undermines the purpose of the ACA – to make health insurance attainable for everyone. Ending subsidies will particularly affect persons who are low-income, many of whom are racial and ethnic minorities. Sixty-five percent of Asian Americans and 70 percent of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders before the ACA, were eligible for subsidies and cost-reduction resources under the law.
Ending the subsidies immediately will create uncertainty in the Marketplace after months of Congress attempting to repeal the law. Insurance plans in the federal Marketplace will now have to decide if they want to offer coverage, ahead of an enrollment period that begins just weeks away on Nov. 1. Without subsidies, plans will have to increase rates to make up for the loss of billions of dollars in federal payments. Many plans have already increased their rates up to 20 percent in anticipation and fear that the Administration would end the subsidies.
“The consequences of repealing and damaging the ACA are deadly, and there are no doubts that Americans will lose their lives and livelihoods as a result of the Administration’s actions. We expect this Administration to enforce the ACA – the law of the land – and strongly urge Congress to take immediate steps to permanently fund the subsidies that allow millions of people to afford coverage,” said Ko Chin.