Action for Health Justice Supports Supreme Court Decision to Uphold Subsidies
June 25, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
[Archive] Stacy Lavilla
Director of Communications
(510) 272-9536 x110
(510) 272-9536 x112
Washington, DC, June 25, 2015 – Action for Health Justice (AHJ) and its partners applaud the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold tax subsidies authorized by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).
“The tax subsidies have helped make health care affordable to more than 6 million Americans in the Federally-facilitated Marketplace,” said Doreena Wong, project director, Health Access Project at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles and member of Action for Health Justice. “Many of these individuals are Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI), and many of these individuals can continue to get health care they may not otherwise have received.”
The Supreme Court decision was further affirmation that the law is working, according to AHJ.
“We are happy the Court made the right decision, supporting the intent of the ACA,” said Kathy Ko Chin, president and CEO of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum. “The Court’s ruling sends a strong message confirming that the ACA is the law of the land, and we must now move forward and focus our efforts on the effective implementation of this landmark piece of health care legislation.”
AHJ and its members, 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 (AAPCHO), filed an amicus brief, in support of ACA tax subsidies. The brief, signed by 63 organizations, illustrated the lack of affordable health care options, access to services, as well as health disparities facing AAs and NHPIs, and highlighted some of the individual lives that would be affected by the elimination of tax subsidies.
Hong L., an Asian American home health care worker in Texas, suffered from chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and chronic chest and joint pains. She enrolled for health insurance under the ACA and received a subsidy of roughly $400 per month, leaving her final monthly premium costs at $160 per month. She says that without subsidies, she “would not be able to afford health insurance on her own, or access high-quality medical care or medical treatments.”
Although the court upheld tax subsidies and the ACA is ensuring millions of individuals, AHJ members and its partners believe there are still vast improvements that must be made to ensure that all individuals can benefit from the ACA.
“There are still a host of needs that exist for AAs and NHPIs in particular,” said Jeffrey Caballero, executive director of AAPCHO. “The most pressing issue is ensuring that individuals can access services in their preferred languages.”
The AA and NHPI population is extremely diverse, representing over 30 countries ethnically and speaking over 100 different languages.
In order to address this diversity, AHJ developed a glossary of commonly used health care terms. The glossary was developed for health care providers and other staff working with individuals who are not proficient in English. It is available in English and 12 Asian and Pacific Islander languages.
AHJ is a national coalition of more than 70 organizations dedicated to ensuring that AAs and NHPIs realize the benefits of the health law. AHJ partners and health centers had nearly 850,000 individual “touches” through both open enrollment periods. These touches were in the form of one-on-one assistance, workshops, presentations, and townhall meetings and helped individuals, particularly those requiring assistance in Asian, Pacific Islander and other languages, learn about the benefits of the ACA, understand the application process, and assist with enrollment.
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.