LOS ANGELES — Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAAJ) Thursday expressed its opposition to the nomination of U.S. Congressman Tom Price (R-Ga) as Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary.
As a national civil rights organization, AAAJ said in a statement that as a member of Congress, Rep. Price has been one of the lead critics of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), also called the Obamacare, and has repeatedly attempted to repeal or gut the ACA.
Among Rep. Price’s most dangerous proposals are limiting tax credits for the poor, privatizing Medicare, barring federal funding to Planned Parenthood, and converting Medicaid to block grants (effectively gutting its role as a safety net program), AAAJ said.
Since implementation in 2010, the ACA has given 20 million previously uninsured Americans access to critical health care services. Among the ACA’s success stories is the significant increase in health insurance coverage amongst Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI). Repealing the ACA would likely double the uninsured rate to 19.4 percent and cost an estimated 24 million people their health coverage, according to AAAJ.
“The Asian American and Pacific Islander community has seen the greatest decrease in our uninsured rate–by 59%–under the ACA, the largest of any racial group nationally,” said Doreena Wong, director of Advancing Justice-LA’s health access program.
“And consistently, AAPIs have expressed significant support for the ACA, even across party lines — for example, a poll in Spring 2016 found that 76% of Asian American voters supported the ACA, including 60% of those identified as Republican. A repeal of the ACA means that hundreds of thousands of our community members stand to lose critically needed health coverage.”
Advancing Justice opposes Rep. Price also because of his track record of supporting such anti-immigrant policies as voting to dismantle the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, to punish “Sanctuary Cities,” to deny citizenship to children born in the U.S. with undocumented parents, to eliminate the visa lottery for immigrants, and against the DREAM Act, according to AAAJ.
This record of hostility toward immigrants should disqualify Rep. Price from leading HHS which, through its Office of Refugee Resettlement, is responsible for the work of resettling and integrating refugees as well as the care of unaccompanied minors apprehended by immigration officials.
Price’s proposals and past positions harm the most vulnerable Americans, such as those who are poor, elderly, or immigrant. Advancing Justice opposes Rep. Tom Price as Health and Human Services Secretary and urges Congress not to confirm him, AAAJ said in the statement.