AAPCHO Urges Senate to Maintain Medicaid and Oppose Graham-Cassidy Legislation
September 25, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Director of Development and Public Affairs
Impels Congress to Focus on Health Center Funding and Children’s Health
WASHINGTON – The Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) today released the following statement in opposition to the Graham-Cassidy legislation in the U.S. Senate:
“Similar to previous health care repeal bills considered and defeated, the Graham-Cassidy proposal would cause millions of Americans to lose their health care and would be detrimental to the stability of the health care system overall,” said Jeffrey Caballero, executive director of AAPCHO. “We urge Congress to move on, reject this bill, and instead focus on funding health centers and implementing meaningful policy change that works for all communities and paves the way to true health equity.”
The Graham-Cassidy bill would have devastating impacts for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AA&NHPIs) and the health centers that serve them. AAPCHO urges Congress to reject this piece of legislation, which would severely cut ongoing state Medicaid funding, eliminate Medicaid expansion, increase premiums, and could lead to a loss of health insurance coverage for at least over 32 million Americans.
AAPCHO is a national not-for-profit association that represents health centers that serve almost 500,000 AA&NHPIs, and other underserved communities. AAPCHO members are located in states like California and New York that would have severe Medicaid funding cuts from this bill.
AAPCHO members and other health centers heavily rely on the current structure of Medicaid, as it provides their largest source of revenue. Shifting funding control to the states, as proposed by this bill through block grants and per capita caps, would change the way that health centers are reimbursed for services. These proposed Medicaid structures could hinder refugee resettlement, natural disaster rebuilding efforts, and responses to public health crises.
As strong advocates of health equity, we believe that this bill would not only reduce access to quality, affordable, health care, but it would also severely impact funding for the culturally and linguistically appropriate services that AA&NHPI-serving health centers are able to provide. As this bill is being discussed, time is being taken away from key fights to ensure that health center funding and the Children’s Health Insurance Program are reinstated. AAPCHO and its members believe in a health system that works for all, and is understanding of all communities, regardless of race, culture, primary language, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or disability. We urge Congress to focus on funding health centers and reject this bill.
AAPCHO is a national association of community health organizations dedicated to promoting advocacy, collaboration and leadership that improves the health status and access of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. For more information on AAPCHO, please visit www.aapcho.org.
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Kristine Cecile Alarcon