2 million Asian/Americans andPacific Islanders affected
|Donald Trump invited the GOP congress members to the White House to celebrate after the health care vote. |
Notice anything? There are no people of color.
THE U.S. House of Representatives today voted 217-213 to pass the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. After the vote, the GOP congress members had a beer party.
The reactions from AAPI political leaders came fast and were unanimous in their condemnation in the manner the vote was taken and the impact the AHCA would have have on their constitutents.
Initial estimates from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that the proposed legislation will take away coverage from 24 million Americans over the next decade, including up to 2 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs).
“I am incredibly saddened and outraged that Republicans ignored the expressed opposition from doctors, hospitals, patient advocates, health experts and even members of their own party to pass this heartless bill," said Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., who voted against the bill. Chu is chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), made up of all the AAPI members of the House and Senate.
"It is unconscionable to me that they would charge ahead with – and then celebrate – a vote that they know will force millions off their insurance and raise prices for people with preexisting conditions."
GOP leaders rushed the vote through the House without waiting for the Congressional Budget Office report on its potential cost, impact and efficacy.
"The haste to act and then immediately hop on a bus to the White House shows that they were more concerned with helping Trump keep a campaign promise than with actually improving healthcare," said Chu.
If the House version of Trumpcare is accepted by the Senate (which is unlikely), here are some of impacts:
- Kicks 7 million veterans off their insurance,
- Shortens the life of Medicare,
- Creates an "age tax" for people aged 50-64 by charging them 5 times more than young people,
- Eliminates coverage for 24 million Americans, including nearly 2 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders across the country.
- Defunds Planned Parenthood for one year, and would once again allow being a raped or domestic violence victim to be a pre-existing condition,
- Creates a “women’s tax” that would permit insurance companies to charge women more than men for essential coverage like pregnancy.
- Cuts $838 billion from Medicaid, endangering care for individuals with disabilities, low-income children, and seniors in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
- Rips away mental health and addiction services from those who need it most.
Trumpcare does all this while giving the 400 richest families in America an annual tax break of $2.8 million.
The American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association representing physicians, and AARP, have all opposed the Republican replacement to Obamacare. Then, who's supporting it? The extreme right Congress members in the so-called Freedom Caucus, Wall Street and - of course - Big Insurance.
"We cannot play politics with people’s lives, and what happened today put political goals ahead of the lives of hardworking Americans, said Rep. Ami Bera, D-Calif., of two physicians in Congress. "The fact that this bill was rushed through with no budget analysis or public debate shows just how bad it is. This is a sad day for America’s patients, and for the public’s trust in Congress.”
Before serving in Congress, Dr. Bera practiced internal medicine, served as Sacramento County’s Chief Medical Officer, and taught at the UC Davis School of Medicine.
When the Republicans got enough votes to pass the AHCA, Democrats began singing "Nah, nah, nah, hey, hey, goodbye" saying that the GOP just lost the 2018 midterm elections by voting against Obamacare, the popular health care initiative introduced during the Obama presidency. Listen, below:
Here are some more reactions: