NCAPA Warns of Discriminatory Impact of ACA Cuts

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sept. 7, 2017

 Contact: Mary Tablante;

 (202) 706-6768;

 

mary@ncapaonline.org

NCAPA Warns of Discriminatory Impact of ACA Cuts 

The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) warns that the recent announcement from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) of cuts to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) outreach and enrollment support will have devastating and discriminatory impacts on the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) and other vulnerable, uninsured, and medically underserved populations. After months of threatening to undermine the ACA to ensure its failure, the Trump Administration is acting on its harmful rhetoric by shortening the open enrollment period to only one and a half months, cutting outreach and advertisement funding by 90 percent, and slashing funding for the Navigator program by 50 percent.

AAPIs have been some of the earliest and most enthusiastic consumers of the ACA. The percentage of Asian Americans without health insurance has dropped from 17.2 percent in 2009 to 6.7 percent in 2016 – one of the steepest declines in uninsured rates across racial and ethnic groups. However, the announced cuts to the Navigator program will disproportionately decrease enrollment for AAPI, immigrant, Limited English Proficient (LEP), and other medically underserved populations and those who face barriers to health care, leading to discriminatory impacts on insurance rates and increasing health disparities.

Since 2013, NCAPA health committee co-chair organizations Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) and the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO), and a consortium of 70 of their community health centers and health advocacy partners, have outreached to, educated and enrolled nearly one million Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders through Action for Health Justice (AHJ). As AHJ partners have documented, Navigators assisting AAPI communities are especially necessary for enrollment support and spend additional time to assist individuals unfamiliar with the U.S. healthcare system, with services ranging from  providing interpretation support for LEP consumers to understand basic insurance terms, to helping mixed-status immigrant families navigate the ACA’s bureaucracy to gain insurance coverage for eligible family members. In addition, Navigators are often also asked to help insured LEP families understand untranslated government notices pertaining to their ACA coverage months after open enrollment ends.

NCAPA is deeply concerned about the impact of these cuts to ACA outreach and enrollment support for AAPI families in need of health insurance. Despite this disappointing news, NCAPA health committee organizations will continue to work to ensure our communities have access to high quality health care.

The upcoming 2018 open enrollment period is from Nov. 1 - Dec. 15, 2017. CMS has a one-page guide to the marketplace and fact sheets are available in several languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Tagalog, Vietnamese and Spanish.

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Based in Washington, D.C., the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans is a coalition of 34 national Asian Pacific American organizations that serves to represent the interests of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities and to provide a national voice for our communities’ concerns. Our communities are the fastest growing racial/ethnic group in the United States, currently making up approximately six percent of the population.

 


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