December 04, 2015
WASHINGTON – Today, the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) released the following statement in opposition to the Senate-passed budget reconciliation bill that would repeal large sections of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), cut public health funding and attack women’s health providers.
“It is unconscionable that the Senate would vote to largely repeal the ACA after more than 17 million Americans have gained affordable coverage, after millions more have finally been able to visit a doctor and after we have seen the largest dip in uninsurance in four decades,” said Kathy Ko Chin, APIAHF president and CEO. “The Senate’s vote is designed to cut right to the heart of the ACA and directly into the lives of all Americans, including the millions of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders who are counting on their coverage.”
The Senate-passed reconciliation bill would repeal parts of the ACA and restrict federal health funding by:
- Eliminating the Prevention and Public Health Fund, cutting more than $15.5 million.
- Repealing the individual and employer mandates by making the fines $0.
- Eliminating the Medicaid expansion, impacting millions of low-income working adults in 28 states and DC.
- Eliminating the Cadillac tax on certain health plans and the medical device tax, which are both used to generate revenue.
*Cutting funding for family planning and abortion providers (Planned Parenthood) for one year.
“When more than half of all adults in America suffer from a chronic disease, including conditions such as cancer, heart disease and stroke, we cannot afford to sacrifice our nation’s health with budget cuts,” said Ko Chin. APIAHF sent letters to both the House of Representatives and Senate leadership highlighting the drastic effects this bill would have on access to coverage and the Prevention and Public Health Fund (Fund). The Fund supports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health, which uses evidence-based programs to close the health disparities gap among racial and ethnic groups by combatting expensive and burdensome conditions, such as obesity and cancer.
The bill would also end the Medicaid expansion, which has been an important milestone in addressing the gap in health care coverage for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders and other racial and ethnic groups who are disproportionately uninsured and who would otherwise be unable to afford coverage. Although minorities make up 40 percent of the U.S. population, they account for more than half of the uninsured population nationwide.
The House will take up the Senate passed bill in the coming days, which is expected to vote to send the final bill to the President. The White House has issued a veto threat.