Thursday, March 5, 2015

Loss of Tax Credits Would be Devastating for Latinas

Millions could lose eligibility for credits that make health care affordable

WASHINGTON, DC (PR) - The Supreme Court of the United States hears oral arguments in King v Burwell, the challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions that provide tax credits to help millions of people afford the cost of health insurance. Jessica González-Rojas, executive director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH), released the following statement:

“With King v. Burwell, the health and well-being of Latinas hangs in the balance. Nearly two million Latinas could lose eligibility for tax credits that make health care affordable, and if the ACA crumbles, the effects would be devastating. We hope the court upholds these important benefits so that we can continue to improve health, dignity, and justice for Latinas, our families, and our communities.

“If the court strikes down the tax credits, an estimated seven million women could lose access to affordable coverage, with the burden falling hardest on women of color, who account for nearly half of this number. Latinas account for nearly two million, along with 1.1 million Black women, 250,000 Asian American and Pacific Islander women and 100,000 Native American women. In Texas, for example, nearly 60 percent of the 1.3 million women eligible for tax credits are Latina.

“The provision of tax credits to make healthcare affordable under the ACA was an important win for women and Latinos, and it’s one the Supreme Court should uphold. Losing this coverage would hurt our community, which already struggles to regularly access care. In fact, we know that before the ACA and even today, Latinos and Latinas face the highest rates of uninsurance of any racial or ethnic group. The ACA is beginning to change that, and we hope the court won’t reverse this important progress.

“Cutting off access to affordable coverage under the ACA would have far-reaching implications for reproductive health. Latinas already face higher rates of cervical cancer incidence and death and unintended pregnancy. By denying affordable coverage, the court would be sentencing untold numbers of Latinas to needless suffering and struggle. Moreover, this case is about more than whether a Latina can afford health insurance. We know that having health insurance and being able to get the care you need enables Latinas to care for our families, go to school or work, contribute to our communities, and realize our dreams. It all starts with health.”

Not Good Public Policy 

NEW YORK – Ms. Foundation for Women President and CEO Teresa C. Younger released the following statement regarding today’s U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments in King v Burwell, a case which could eliminate tax credits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA):

"The health and wellbeing of millions of women are at stake in King v Burwell. Individuals around the country could lose eligibility for tax credits that make health care affordable. An increase of costs would push health insurance out of their reach and would topple the ACA.

"About seven million women stand to lose their health care coverage if the High Court strikes down the tax credits; approximately half of which are women of color. The majority of low-wage workers are women and most of those low-wage jobs do not come with affordable health benefits.

"The continuous attacks on the ACA are about politics – not good public policy. It is unconscionable for our county to force women and their families to choose between paying for preventative health care, like birth control, and basic needs, like groceries."

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