One-Year Anniversary: The Affordable Care Act

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

From The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

WASHINGTON – The President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders joins the Administration in celebrating the one-year anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act. The law provides millions of Americans with more freedom and control over their health care choices.

“One in six Asian Americans, and one in four Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are either uninsured or underinsured,” said Daphne Kwok, Chair of the President’s Advisory Commission. The Affordable Care Act provides more choices for the community to take control of their health care and consequently improve their lives.”

Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and other Pacific Islander communities experience high uninsurance rates; 26.7% of Hmong Americans, 22.5% of Bangladeshi Americans, and 17.4% of Micronesians live in poverty; and 35.5% of Korean Americans, 18.3% of Vietnamese Americans, and 17.7% of Indian Americans lack health coverage. Additionally, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders continue to have a high prevalence of diabetes, chronic hepatitis B, liver and cervical cancers.
The Affordable Care Act specifically assists the AAPI community by expanding coverage to 32 million Americans and strengthening the role of disease prevention and health promotion in addressing these chronic diseases.

Thanks to the law, AAPIs and all Americans are enjoying:

Lower Costs

- Seniors have the freedom to get the care they need, including free preventive care, lower cost prescription drugs, and Medicare they can count on. Nearly 4 million Americans who hit the Medicare prescription drug coverage gap known as the “donut hole” received $250 tax-free rebates, and will receive a 50% discount on brand name prescription drugs if they hit the donut hole this year.

- Up to 4 million small businesses could receive tax credits to make employees’ health coverage more affordable.

- Insurance companies can no longer overcharge consumers just to boost profits and CEO salaries.

New coverage options

- Children with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied coverage in new health plans.

- Adults who have been locked out of the insurance marketplace because of a pre-existing condition can now buy coverage through a new Pre-Existing Condition Plan.

Better quality coverage

- People with insurance are free from worrying about losing their insurance due to a mistake on an application, or having it capped unexpectedly if someone is in an accident or becomes sick.

- All Americans in new insurance plans will receive preventive services without being charged a deductible, co-payment, or co-insurance.

“The Affordable Care Act not only gives individuals increased access to care, but our communities as a whole now have the policies and resources to better care for one another,” said Sefa Aina, Vice Chair of the President’s Advisory Commission. “Under the Affordable Care Act, we have an opportunity to address policies affecting health disparities – including improving federal data collection and reporting systems, developing our primary care workforce and expanding our community health care system so that culturally and linguistically appropriate services are accessible to our most underserved communities.”