WASHINGTON - The Congressional Tri-Caucus—comprised of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus— marked the one year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act being signed into law with the following statements:
“Last Congress the Congressional Black Caucus worked tirelessly with President Obama to provide the American people with more freedom for their families’ healthcare”, said Chairman Emanuel Cleaver, II. “Today we celebrate the one year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act. As a Caucus we endured hateful attacks and contentious town halls, but remained steadfast in our effort to reform our healthcare system. Up to 1 in 5 African Americans lack health insurance, one of the highest rates for any community. Nearly every aspect of the Affordable Care Act positively impacts minority communities: from protecting those with preexisting conditions, ensuring dependent coverage, providing vital preventive services and care, making health care affordable for small businesses, bringing more doctors and nurses to chronically underserved communities, and increasing Medicare benefit coverage.
“The Republican Leadership is focused on repealing patients' rights, and putting insurance companies back in charge. Repealing the Affordable Care Act will have a negative impact on all Americans, especially minority communities. As I have said before, they seek to defund, and we seek to defend. We will not stand by and allow our communities’ rights to be trampled on. We are committed to seeing the full implementation of healthcare reform all across this great nation.”
“Today we celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, a historic piece of legislation that ensures access to quality, affordable health care for all Americans”, said Chairman Charles A. Gonzales. “Although many of its provisions are yet to be rolled out, there is no doubt that we have already benefited from its enactment. Seniors are getting help paying for their prescription drugs, young adults can now stay on their parents’ plans until the age of 26 and children no longer face discrimination due to a pre-existing condition. What’s more, insurance companies can no longer cap health coverage or drop patients when they get sick, and small businesses are receiving tax credits to help them cover their employees.
“Middle-class families, and especially Latinos, stand to gain the most from implementation of the ACA. In fact, 16 million Latinos will gain access to health coverage because of the ACA. One in five Latinos suffering from diabetes will be able to see a doctor before it’s too late and 50% of all Latinos who didn’t have access to a primary care physician, will have the opportunity to see one. Furthermore, community health centers that are so vital for the primary care needs of Hispanics, will be able to serve nearly 20 million new patients because of the investments made by the ACA.
“But, in order for us to fully benefit from the ACA, all of the provisions we worked so hard to achieve have to stay intact. We must build on the foundation the ACA established. Any efforts to repeal the ACA ignore the needs of all Americans.”
“A year ago today, we rewrote the history books with the passage of the Affordable Care Act”, said Chairwoman Judy Chu. “Healthcare reform saves money and saves lives. That is why we must continue fighting back against the Republican repeal efforts that harm middle-class families, and work to ensure that affordable health care is available to all Americans.
“The Affordable Care Act is a victory for working families, especially those of Asian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander descent since many in our community are uninsured and have been hit hard by the economic recession. All in all, 35% of Korean Americans, 18% of Vietnamese Americans, and 18% of Indian Americans lack health coverage. Not only will healthcare reform provide AAPI families with improved access to affordable health care and essential health services, it lays the groundwork for addressing health disparities and providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services. AAPIs account for over half of the chronic Hepatitis B cases in the U.S. and are more than two times as likely as white Americans to have diabetes. Without the Affordance Care Act, our community would continue to suffer needlessly from these diseases.”