March 7, 2017
WASHINGTON – On Monday night, House Republicans released their plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Kathy Ko Chin, President and CEO of the Asian & Pacific Islander Health Forum (APIAHF), issued the following statement on the bill that would negatively impact millions across the country and leave fewer people covered with higher costs:
“Many things are clear from the bill, yet many unknowns remain. What we know is that millions of Americans, including Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (AAs and NHPIs) relying on coverage under the ACA will be worse off. Under the guise of flexibility, this plan would end Medicaid as we know it by phasing in per-capita caps. Under the guise of access, the bill would reduce the financial support that is allowing millions of low- and moderate-income Americans to afford their monthly premiums. House Republicans would offer fewer tax credits to individuals and families by restricting eligibility to citizens, nationals and “qualified aliens” under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act definition. In contrast, the ACA provides assistance to all lawfully present persons. Limiting tax credits only to persons who are citizens or “qualified aliens” would render many immigrant groups with lawful status ineligible, including Compact of Free Association (COFA) migrants. More than eight in 10 previously uninsured AAs and NHPIs qualify for financial assistance through the ACA.
At the same time, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has proposed changes that would make it harder for consumers to sign up for and access affordable quality health coverage that they are eligible for under the ACA. The proposed rule, with a comment period ending today, would undermine the strength of the health insurance Marketplaces while reducing access for consumers.
In total, members of Congress who oppose the ACA are putting aside regular order to dismantle the law without fully explaining their plans. House Republicans are pushing this bill through committees without a score from the Congressional Budget Office and not taking into account the potential impact on the lives of 20 million Americans, including 2 million AAs and NHPIs who stand to lose coverage if the law is repealed.”
APIAHF is reviewing the bill and will provide a statement for the record before hearings in the Way and Means and Energy and Commerce committees Wednesday.