LOS ANGELES (Dec. 20, 2017) — Asian Americans Advancing Justice (Advancing Justice) is extremely disappointed with Wednesday passage by both the House and Senate of H.R.1 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which is expected to be signed by the President.
The tax bill will have a devastating impact on millions of working families. The wealthy and corporations benefit the most immediately. An analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center found that 83 percent of households in the top 1 percent would receive a tax break in 2018 with an average benefit of $193,380. For the middle 20 percent of earners, the average tax cut would be $930. Over half the bill’s total benefits would go to the top 10 percent of earners.
In the longer term, the bill lays the groundwork for future attacks on the poor, disabled, elderly, and other vulnerable Americans. The bill will escalate the federal deficit (estimates range from $1.4 trillion by the Congressional Budget Office to over $2.2 trillion by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities), and funding for programs like Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security are expected to be severely slashed to pay for the tax cuts and resulting deficits.
“This is one of the greatest transfers of wealth in our nation’s history,” said Doreena Wong, director of Health Access at Advancing Justice-Los Angeles. “This bill pays for huge tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and large corporations by increasing the burden of working families. It would also dismantle the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) by repealing the individual mandate, reducing health care for 13 million Americans and raising premiums by an average of 10 percent.”
The ACA has helped to reduce the national uninsured rates for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (AANHPIs) by 59 percent, the greatest reduction of any racial or ethnic group. Before the ACA, many groups, such as Koreans, Cambodians, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi Americans had uninsured rates above twenty percent.
Although the tax bill is expected to be signed by the President today, there is other key legislation that Congress must address before the year’s end. In particular, we call on Congress to reauthorize federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and community health centers, both of which expired on Sept. 30, 2018. The health of 9 million children and 370,000 pregnant women are at risk. We also also call on Congress to pass a clean DREAM Act before Dec. 31, 2017.
We must fight back and hold Congress accountable, and let them know that they cannot get away by paying for tax cuts for the wealthy by cutting Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security that millions of Americans depend on. Although the tax bill is expected to be signed by the President today, there is other key legislation that Congress must address before the year’s end. In particular, we call on Congress to reauthorize federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and community health centers, both of which expired on Sept. 30, 2018. The health of 9 million children and 370,000 pregnant women are at risk.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice is a national affiliation of five leading organizations advocating for the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and other underserved communities to promote a fair and equitable society for all. The affiliation’s members are: Advancing Justice | AAJC (Washington, D.C.), Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus (San Francisco), Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, Advancing Justice – Atlanta, and Advancing Justice – Chicago.