March 28, 2023

By Hedy Tripp
National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (March 15, 2017) — As conservative members of Congress continue their crusade against the Affordable Care Act, I am left wondering who will be responsible for caring and treating the millions of people who stand to lose their health care and necessary preventative and reproductive health services?

At best—this is a question members of Congress simply neglect to ask because they don’t have to worry about choosing between supporting their health and meeting their basic needs. At worst—they’ve asked the question and simply don’t care.

The over two million Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) who gained coverage under the ACA and who now stand to lose it do not have that same luxury. And while the model minority myth would paint all our communities as healthy and wealthy, that’s far from the reality.

My mother immigrated to Minnesota twenty-two years ago and gained her American citizenship when she was 85. She presently resides at a nursing home that takes care of all her needs. She is the oldest AAPI resident at 102 years old. Our family is only able to provide this access to care because my mother has dual eligibility for Medicare and Medicaid. While any changes to ACA will probably not affect her at this time, so many AAPI women under the ACA repeal plan will not be so fortunate.

According to the National Partnership for Women and Families, the ACA repeal plan would eliminate Medicaid expansion and switch to per capita funding by 2020. This could potentially lead to dramatic cuts to the program. Medicaid covers over half of long-term care spending, so those cuts could mean that families similar to my own may not have the same access to nursing home care in the future.

Additionally, under the ACA, insurers cannot charge older adults more than three times what they charge young adults for the same coverage. The new proposal would allow an age ratio of five-to-one (and potentially more depending on the state). Because of this, older Americans could see dramatic increases to their premiums.

Just last week, we observed Asian American Equal Pay Day, and the economic insecurity that AAPI women often experience due to the wage gap. The wage gap gets worse for AAPI women as they age. The increased cost sharing and premiums in the ACA repeal plan would place even greater economic burden on AAPI women and families, and create additional barriers for members of our community to access essential health and reproductive care.

The ACA repeal plan would take us backward, and many members of our community cannot afford the setback. Our family was fortunate that we could tend for my mother as she aged and find her a caring place where she can grow old with dignity. We need a health care system that will help every member of our community thrive at every stage of their lifespan and thus contribute fully to the healthy economy of our country.

Hedy Tripp is a volunteer with the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum.

2 thoughts on “What repealing the Affordable Care Act means to Asian American and Pacific Islander Women

  1. Thanks to the great leadership in the Democratic Party, we won a first major battle since (President Donald Trump) won the White House by defeating the Republican’s repeal Obamacare effort. DNC lawmakers such as (U.S. Rep.) Charles Schumer (NY-9) and (House Minority Leader) Nancy Pelosi (CA-8) and other leaders of the DNC did a great job telling the American people what repealing Obamacare would mean to them. Their hard work paid off and the American people rallied. The result was an embarrassing loss to (Trump). Hats off to the DNC and their elected officials for a job well done. But don’t gloat like they did during the general election. There are many more battles ahead. Go DNC. Keep up the good work.

  2. hey don’t change how i called your guy in the Whitehouse. i don’t call him president trump, he is not my president. to me he is a sexist, bigot and lowdown yankee liar. i call him trumpy dumpy. unlike you ii don’t call him president donald trump. don’t put words in my mouth dear esteemed and big ego editor.

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