May 24, 2017

WASHINGTON – In response to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score released today for the American Health Care Act (AHCA) that passed the U.S. House of Representatives, the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) released the following statement.

“In the last seven years, more people and families have been able to get health coverage than ever before in the history of our nation,” said Kathy Ko Chin, APIAHF president and CEO. “Today’s estimate from the Congressional Budget Office confirms that repealing the Affordable Care Act will dismantle our entire healthcare system and millions of people will lose their ability to afford quality coverage. We look to the Senate to develop bipartisan legislation that protects coverage for all, instead of taking it away.”

Compared to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the AHCA would result in a significant 23 million people losing coverage. The Urban Institute has previously estimated this could include an estimated 2 million Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (AAs and NHPIs). Medicaid and Medicaid expansion would face massive cuts and 14 million people would lose access to those programs. Under the President’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget released yesterday, there is potential for even greater cuts to Medicaid that would result in broader coverage losses and reduced funding to states. The cuts to Medicaid – the nation’s safety net for low-income and working poor adults, children and women – are so drastic that under the AHCA, the program would end as we know it.

Many people with pre-existing conditions would be priced out of comprehensive health coverage and would see an increase in premiums, especially if they live in a state that waived the core ACA consumer protections around essential health benefits and community rating. One-sixth of the population resides in areas where AHCA-driven instability could lead to states ending protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

Overall, the score demonstrates that more Americans, including AAs and NHPIs, would be uninsured if the ACA is repealed; health coverage will be of lower value and won’t meet the needs of consumers and people with pre-existing conditions such as cancer or diabetes would be priced out of coverage. The bill is bad for the health of all Americans, particularly those who are low-income, racial and ethnic minorities, and persons with chronic conditions. APIAHF opposes AHCA and asks that Senators work to improve healthcare access for all Americans, not dismantle the historic gains seen under the ACA over the last seven years.