WIth issues like immigration and health care dominating headlines, the Asian Community Development Council (ACDC) in Las Vegas hosted a fair on Saturday, March 11 to let the local Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community know what resources are available.
The nearly whole day event touched upon topics such as free health services, rights that immigrants have, and how AAPIs can be civically engaged.
As AAPIs continue to be a fast-growing demographic, their voices need to be even louder and heard on a political level, the ACDC said.
Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen of Nevada’s 3rd District was present at the fair to meet with participants as well as to answer any questions on the legislation and orders brought forth by Congress and the Trump administration.
Estimates show that 40,000 Asian Americans in Nevada currently do not have health insurance.
On Monday, March 6, Republican lawmakers introduced the “American Health Care Act” (AHCA), which is poised to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that was passed under former President Barack Obama’s term.
Some of the highlights of this bill include repealing ACA mandates, utilizing refundable tax credits based on age, expanding contributions to health savings accounts, and maintains the ACA’s higher federal financing for expanded Medicaid through the end of 2019.
It would also keep some ACA provisions in place like the prohibition on refusing to provide coverage based on preexisting conditions, the ban on annual and lifetime coverage caps, and young adults staying on parental coverage until they turn 26.
“We’re all looking for answers. The one thing Republicans haven’t provided us with is that they put this bill together in the middle of the night. They tried to push it through without review and any numbers from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to say what the expense is going to be,” Rosen said, adding “frankly we’re not going to trust them from what we’ve seen already.”
The CBO on Monday, March 13 released its analysis of the AHCA, finding that 24 million more people would be without insurance in the next decade. It also found that 14 million fewer Americans would enroll in Medicaid by 2026 and that there would be a 15 to 20 percent in 2018 premiums.
Given this, Rosen said that the AHCA should not push through and shared that her constituents, hospitals and insurance companies have called for a “repair” of the ACA instead of a repeal.
“Across the board, every call in my office has been for saving the Affordable Care Act and fixing or improving some of the things that are not working as well as they could be,” she said.
The only way for the proposed legislation to not go through is for people to call and send messages to their representatives, especially the Republicans who are supporting it.
“People have the power — you have the voice, you have the phone calls. The entire Congress has to get elected every two years…Every phone call you make to a Republican who wants to shove this horrible Trumpcare down our throats…makes an impact,” Rosen said.