FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 26, 2017
Contact: Mary Tablante;
NCAPA Vehemently Opposes Senate Efforts to Repeal the ACA
In a sign of these uncommon and unpredictable times, yesterday 50 Senators and the Vice President voted to begin proceedings on a series of legislative proposals to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). NCAPA stands firmly against these efforts, which put anywhere from 14 million to 30 million Americans, and 1.2 million Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (AA and NHPIs) at risk of losing access to health care. Even more disturbing, the deliberate effort to keep the public in the dark about the legislation makes unclear the full impact of this life-or-death legislation because the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) hasn’t analyzed a final bill; there have not been any legislative hearings with expert testimony and debate; and there’s been little scrutiny, but much speculation, of the final plan.
Meanwhile, the Senate has begun 20 hours of debating and amending various versions of repeal which include:
The most current version of the Senate “repeal and replace” plan, which includes amendments from Senators Ted Cruz and Rob Portman. A CBO score of the original plan, prior to being amended, estimated that 24 million Americans would lose their health insurance under the bill. Fortunately, on Monday night, this bill was voted down by 57 Senators.
A “straight repeal” bill without any replacement plan. This bill most similarly reflects a 2015 ACA repeal bill, which the House and Senate passed before it was vetoed by President Obama, and which the CBO scored as forcing upwards of 32 million Americans out of coverage. At least 53 Senators have publicly stated their opposition to this plan; it requires 51 votes to pass.
A “skinny repeal” bill, which targets unpopular ACA mandates including the individual mandate, employer mandate, and fees on medical devices. This plan has not been scored by the CBO but a previous estimate indicated that ending the individual mandate would result in 14 million people without health insurance, rising premiums, and a destabilization of the health insurance marketplaces. “Skinny repeal” requires 51 votes to pass; current reports indicate that 50 Senators support this bill.
AA and NHPIs have significantly benefitted from the Affordable Care Act, resulting in uninsured rates that have fallen from 18 percent (and higher in some ethnic communities) to 7.8 percent in 2016. AA and NHPIs were most eager to gain health insurance coverage through competitive plans offered on the ACA Marketplaces, accounting for 9% of those who bought health insurance through them in 2016. In addition, estimates indicate an additional 500,000 AA and NHPIs gained health coverage through Medicaid expansion in states across the country. Now, the lives of more than 1 in 15 AA and NHPIs, in addition to 20 million other Americans, are in the balance while the Senate debates multiple bills all intended to strip them of their health insurance to provide another tax break for the rich.
NCAPA members that have issued statements and calls to action on this state of affairs include:
- Asian Pacific Islander American Health Forum
- Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO)
- National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physicians (NCAPIP)
- Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC)