WASHINGTON (July 11, 2012) — The Asian American Center for Advancing Justice, Asian American Institute, Asian American Justice Center, Asian Law Caucus, and Asian Pacific American Legal Center, express disappointment with the U.S. House of Representatives partisan vote on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Two weeks ago, the ACA was upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court. Today’s vote, 244-185, is widely viewed as politically motivated because it would unlikely garner the necessary votes in the U.S. Senate to be passed and presented to President Obama.
“The Affordable Care Act will greatly benefit close to 2.5 million Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders across the country who will be eligible for health coverage for the first time by January 1, 2014,” said Mee Moua, president and executive director of AAJC. “The vote today led by the House leadership undermines all of the work that our communities have made toward ensuring access to health care for all Americans.”
“Rather than trying to repeal the ACA, the House should accept the Supreme Court’s decision that the time is now for our government to address access to health care and reduce health disparities,’’ said Doreena Wong, project director of APALC’s Health Access Project. “California especially stands to benefit, given that the ACA will help more than 600,000 uninsured Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.”
One in 10 Asian Americans and one in eight Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (NHPIs) will gain health coverage through the Medicaid expansion alone. Already more than 97,000 Asian American and Pacific Islanders up to age 26 have been able to be covered through their parent’s health insurance and more than 2.7 million Asian Americans and NHPIs have received free preventive services from their current health plans since the passage of the ACA in March 2010.
The Asian American and NHPI communities suffer from health disparities, such as higher uninsured rates and increased rates of chronic conditions, including cancer, hepatitis B, asthma and diabetes. Currently under the ACA, insurance companies are prohibited from discriminating against children with pre-existing conditions like chronic diseases. These protections will be extended to adults in 2014. The ACA provides a foundation for a more equitable health care system that provides affordable, quality health insurance for millions of people.
Advancing Justice supports the ACA and AAJC and APALC joined amicus curiae briefs in support of the law at the Supreme Court. Over 140 amicus briefs were filed at The Court, setting an all-time record.