CAPAC Chair Judy Chu Decries “Heartless” ACA Repeal Vote

May 4, 2017 Issues: Healthcare

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House of Representatives today voted 217-213 to pass H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Initial estimates from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that the underlying legislation will take away coverage from 24 million Americans over the next decade, including up to 2 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs). CAPAC Chair Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) voted against the bill and released the following statement:

“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. 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. Worse, their rush to vote on this bill meant there wasn’t even time for the Congressional Budget Office to score the fiscal and human costs of the final version. 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.

“This bill will have serious consequences for the American people. This bill threatens to kick 7 million veterans off their insurance, shortens the life of Medicare, allows people aged 50-64 to be charged 5 times more than young people, and eliminates coverage for 24 million Americans, including nearly 2 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders across the country. It defunds Planned Parenthood for one year, and would once again allow being a rape or domestic violence victim to be a pre-existing condition. This bill creates a  “women’s tax” that would permit insurance companies to charge women more than men for essential coverage like pregnancy. Trumpcare would also cut $838 billion from Medicaid, endangering care for individuals with disabilities, low-income children, and seniors in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. In the midst of the worst opioid epidemic our nation has ever seen, it rips mental health and addiction services away 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.

“As we have said in the past, Democrats remain willing and eager to work to improve the Affordable Care Act. But this was not an improvement. This was a cruel attack on vulnerable Americans, especially those with preexisting conditions. An improvement is a plan that will increase access for all Americans, keep costs down, and ensure that being sick or a woman or a senior is not an excuse to be denied coverage.”

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The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) is comprised of Members of Congress of Asian and Pacific Islander descent and Members who have a strong dedication to promoting the well-being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Currently chaired by Congresswoman Judy Chu, CAPAC has been addressing the needs of the AAPI community in all areas of American life since it was founded in 1994.