Supreme Court Could Erode Health Coverage Across the Country
March 4, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, D.C., March 4, 2015 – Action for Health Justice (AHJ) released the following statement directly after oral arguments in the Supreme Court case King v. Burwell, which will determine if the tax credits authorized by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are available nationwide, or limited only to state-run Marketplaces. If the Supreme Court limits the availability of tax credits, millions of Americans, including many Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (AAs and NHPIs), will lose coverage.
“The Affordable Care Act is working for Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities and King v. Burwell threatens that,” said Doreena Wong, project director, Health Access Project at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles and member of Action for Health Justice. “From the over 600,000 lives we have touched through our outreach, education and enrollment efforts, we can see the real impact that the law has had and the health gains benefiting AA and NHPI communities across the country. A bad decision in King will erode that.”
AHJ member organizations – the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC and the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations – filed an amicus brief supporting the ACA’s tax credits. The brief describes lingering issues faced by AAs and NHPIs, including a lack of affordable health coverage and access to care and health disparities. Congress has recognized that people of color make up a disproportionate number of uninsured people, with the AA and NHPI community uninsured at higher rates than other groups. The brief features stories from AHJ partners from across the country who would face dire health crises if they lose access to the ACA’s tax credits, and as a result, health insurance.
Up to 37 states rely on the federal Marketplace (Healthcare.gov). Three states—Texas, Florida and New Jersey—with significant AA and NHPI populations who are eligible and uninsured will fare badly with this ruling. Texas alone accounts for 10 percent of eligible uninsured Asian Americans. The Supreme Court is expected to make a decision this summer.
AHJ is a national coalition of more than 70 organizations dedicated to ensuring that AAs and NHPIs realize the benefits of the health law. During the second open enrollment, AHJ partners, including community-based organizations and health centers, provided one-on-one assistance, in person, to those who needed help navigating the enrollment process or require assistance in Asian, Pacific Islander and other languages.
About Action for Health Justice
Action for Health Justice is a coalition of more than 70 Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander national and local community-based organizations and Federally Qualified Health Centers dedicated to educating, empowering and enrolling AAs and NHPIs in health coverage. AHJ’s partner organizations are active in the following 22 states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah and Washington. For more information and health reform resources in English, Asian and Pacific Islander languages, visit www.apiahf.org/healthcare4me. Visit www.healthcare.gov for more information about the Marketplace and how to enroll.