January 31, 2018

WASHINGTON — Following is a statement by Kathy Ko Chin, APIAHF President and CEO, in response to President Trump’s first State of the Union.

“In his remarks, President Trump spoke of ‘a new tide of optimism that was already sweeping across our land.’ Unfortunately, this optimism has not been reflected in our health care system. Our nation’s health care has not been protected and made strong, but rather attacked and dismantled. In 2018, we expect the Trump Administration to continue efforts to take apart the Affordable Care Ace (ACA), and we anticipate that Congressional leadership will continue considering cuts to Medicaid. Last year, the power of our communities’ collective voices prevented the repeal of the ACA. We must all continue to push back against these harmful attempts to take away health care and vital services from those who need them most.”

Since the ACA passed in 2010, uninsured rates have decreased by 57 percent for Asians and 47 percent for Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, among the most of any other race or ethnic groups. Instead of strengthening these gains made under the ACA, the Trump Administration and Congress have implemented policies that would roll back and erode health care coverage for the nation’s most vulnerable populations, including Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (AA and NHPI). These have included:

  • The ending of ACA subsidies that allowed millions of Americans to afford their monthly premiums. This 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 who bought their health insurance through the ACA marketplaces relied on these subsidies.
  • The passing of a $5.5 trillion tax cut that repealed the individual mandate of the ACA, which the Congressional Budget Office estimates will lead to 13 million people losing their health insurance and premiums increasing by 10 percent.
  • Instead of removing barriers to Medicaid, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services put in additional work requirements that will specifically hurt people of color. Millions of AA and NHPI rely on Medicaid as their only form of health coverage. AAs and NHPIs have the second-highest rate of long-term unemployment (30 percent) and are at increased risk for losing coverage.