Friday, February 10, 2017

Anti-ACA Tom Price approved by Senate in late night vote

Rep. Tom Price
REP. TOM PRICE, the man who will lead the charge in doing away with the Affordable Care Act, was approved by the GOP-dominated Senate late last night when most Americans were fast asleep.

Price won confirmation on a party-line vote of 52-47, which came around 2 a.m. Friday. Senate Democrats, united in their opposition to him as the government’s top health official, argued that the intersection of his personal investments and legislative behavior warranted deeper scrutiny of his ethics.

"The Asian American and Pacific Islander community has seen the greatest decrease in our uninsured rate--by 59 percent--under the ACA, the largest of any racial group nationally," said Doreena Wong, director of Advancing Justice-LA's health access program."

"And consistently, AAPIs have expressed significant support for the ACA, even across party lines -- for example, a poll in Spring 2016 found that 76 percent of Asian/American voters supported the ACA, including 60 percent of those identified as Republican. A repeal of the ACA means that hundreds of thousands of our community members stand to lose critically needed health coverage," said Wong.

The nomination of the Georgia congress member was opposed by the Congressional Tri-Caucus – which is composed of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), the Congressional Black Caucus, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. The three groups sent a letter to the Senate Committee on Finance and the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), urging them to oppose the nomination of Rep. Tom Price to be Secretary of Health and Human Services.

“Throughout his career in Congress, Rep. Price’s words and actions have not aligned with the health priorities of minority communities. He has consistently supported changes to the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, and Medicaid that will have devastating impacts on the communities that we represent,” the Members wrote.

The letter discussed Rep. Price’s strong opposition to the Affordable Care Act, a critical piece of legislation that has allowed millions of African Americans, Latinos, and AAPIs to gain access to quality, affordable health care. The congressional members also highlighted Price’s proposals to make drastic changes to Medicare and Medicaid that would disproportionately hurt communities of color.

Price, an orthopedic surgeon, claims that “nothing has had a greater negative effect on the delivery of health care than the federal government’s intrusion into medicine through Medicare.” Of course, the exact opposite is true. Medicare saves lives. It allows seniors and people with disabilities, those with the greatest health needs, to obtain life-saving health care.

If he tries to do away with Medicare, one of the most successful of the government programs, the Baby Boomers who are aging into their retirement years, will be greatly affected.

The GOP has no plan to replace the ACA, also known as Obamacare. Trump said that it would take at least year, or two, before the Obama initiative could be completely dismantled.

Ironically, despite GOP attacks, the ACA has seen its enrollment increase this past enrollment period. Over 20 million people have enrolled.