Recent HHS Medicaid Decision Offers Important Protections for AAs and NHPIs

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Recent HHS Medicaid Decision Offers Important Protections for AAs and NHPIs

December 12, 2012

WASHINGTON—The Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) applauded the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) recent announcement that states will have to either fully expand their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or not at all.  The move is aimed at extending insurance coverage to millions of low-income Americans.  A number of governors had suggested a partial expansion of their Medicaid programs after the Supreme Court’s decision in June, which removed the federal government’s enforcement power to require all states to fully expand their Medicaid programs to persons earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty line.

“We applaud HHS’ decision to hold firm and not allow partial Medicaid expansions,” said Kathy Lim Ko, APIAHF president and CEO. “The ACA’s Medicaid expansion offers the most significant opportunity to expand coverage to low-income and vulnerable communities, including many Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (AAs and NHPIs).  HHS should do everything in its power to encourage all states to fully expand their Medicaid programs and receive the generous federal funding.”

Nearly one in seven, or 2.8 million AAs and 162,000 NHPIs are uninsured.  Expanding Medicaid could make a significant dent in these numbers and expand access to affordable care for millions.  If every state expands Medicaid, then nearly one in 10 AAs and one in eight NHPIs would qualify for coverage in 2014.  Click here to learn more about why Medicaid matters for AA and NHPI communities and how the ACA will expand coverage for these communities nationally.  Read our Medicaid expansion infographic covering key states.

With its partners, APIAHF is working to ensure full implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s significant coverage expansions, including the Medicaid program expansions and individual and small employer health exchanges.

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The Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum influences policy, mobilizes communities, and strengthens programs and organizations to improve the health of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. Learn more at http://www.apiahf.org/.

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