March 4, 2015

WASHINGTON — Following today’s Supreme Court oral arguments in King v. Burwell, the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) released the following statement highlighting the gross inequities that could result from this case.

“The health and livelihood of families across the country is teetering in the balance of the Supreme Court’s decision,” said Iyanrick John, APIAHF senior policy analyst. “If the Court overturns the tax credits, families in up to 37 states will lose their health insurance coverage, and be left in the same position they were in before the ACA – without health insurance and at risk.”

At issue is whether the ACA’s tax credits are limited only to state-run health insurance Marketplaces. Up to 37 states relying on Healthcare.gov could be directly affected by the King case. If the Court limits the tax credits, millions of residents in these states will no longer have access to affordable coverage, undermining the main purpose of the Affordable Care Act – to make health insurance attainable for everyone.

On January 28, APIAHF filed an amicus brief that details stories from people who would suffer life-threatening consequences without coverage. Sione, a Tongan man living in Utah, used to skip his diabetes medication because he couldn’t afford them. With tax credits, he is able to afford both health coverage and the cost of the medication. Losing his tax credits means losing the ability to afford his medication and losing control over his health.

The brief details the lack of coverage options and lingering health disparities facing AAs and NHPIs that supported the ACA’s passage. APIAHF’s brief was jointly filed with the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Los Angeles and Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, who together with APIAHF comprise Action for Health Justice. APIAHF has partnered with Action for Health Justice to ensure that AAs and NHPIs realize the benefits of the new health law. Sixty-three community
and health organizations also signed onto the brief.

APIAHF is the nation’s oldest and largest health policy group working on behalf of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, and has been working to make the ACA a reality since day one.