July 25, 2017
WASHINGTON – Today, the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) released the following statement against the Senate procedural vote that begins the process to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As of publishing, the exact contents of the bill are not known, but Senate leadership is nevertheless pushing for approval.
“To call for a vote – possibly even passage – of unknown legislation is risking coverage for millions,” said Kathy Ko Chin, APIAHF president and CEO. “While neither the general public nor members of the Senate know what this bill contains, we do know that it is still an attempt to repeal the ACA and dismantle Medicaid. Our fight is not over and we urge all communities to call their Senators and demand that they protect the ACA and our health care.”
While the text of the bill is not public, the intent has not changed from previous versions – to repeal the ACA and eliminate coverage for millions of individuals and families. The most recent legislation would have caused 22 million Americans, including over 1.6 million Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, to lose health care coverage. Senate Republicans have made various attempts to cut Medicaid and end state-based Medicaid expansions, which would eliminate coverage gains for persons who are low-income, many of whom are racial and ethnic minorities. One in six Asian Americans and one in three Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders rely on Medicaid as their only form of health coverage, which puts them at great risk if the program is cut in this bill.
With the procedural vote cleared, the Senate begins 20 hours of debate and amendment process on multiple versions of repeal. As such, it is critical that communities continue to call their Senators each day and urge them to vote against final passage.
Repealing the ACA puts the entire nation at risk and Senators will be voting on legislation with unknown repercussions on their home states. APIAHF encourages the Senate to instead build on the progress made in the last seven years to extend health coverage to more people than ever before in American history.