WASHINGTON – In response to President Trump’s State of the Union address, the following is a statement from Kathy Ko Chin, president and CEO of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum:

“The State of the Union is an opportunity for the President to outline a strong, unifying agenda to improve the health and wellbeing of everyone living in our country. Instead, President Trump continues to divide our communities, rather than address critical health care concerns. It is clear that despite his reassurances that the health of our nation is better than ever, his actions underscore a very different picture.

Since taking office, the Trump administration has aggressively challenged the ACA in the courts and has proposed and enacted policies that are detrimental to the health of families in our community.

The President’s omission of protecting Medicaid in his address, which covers 1 out of 5 Americans, underscores his opposition toward this safety net program. Just last week, the Administration unveiled its plan to deconstruct Medicaid by restructuring the funding via block grants that would limit funding for state Medicaid programs. This drastic overhaul would threaten access to health care for our most vulnerable and hardworking families, including children, young adults and pregnant women.

Moreover, through executive action and the courts, the President continues to target immigrant communities by moving forward with changes to the public charge rule. This rule change has already led many families and individuals to dis-enroll from otherwise eligible health programs. We believe that health is a human right, and families should not have to choose between feeding their children and their immigration status.

While we are disappointed by this year’s State of the Union, we hope that in 2020, both Democrats and Republicans can come together and prioritize health for our community. In fact, in October 2019, members of Congress from both sides of the aisle joined to introduce a bill that would reinstate Medicaid eligibility for more than 61,000 individuals and families in COFA communities.

The State of the Union is a time to unite the country. This means outlining an agenda of working together for policies that will support everyone, not just a select few.”


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The Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) influences policy, mobilizes communities, and strengthens programs and organizations to improve the health of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.