House Supports Porter Amendment to Improve Affordable Care Act Enrollment

June 13, 2019
Press Release
Congresswoman’s amendment will support improved analysis of populations not enrolling in health coverage

WASHINGTON – The House of Representatives today adopted an amendment by Congresswoman Katie Porter (CA-45) that would gather data on state enrollment figures for the Affordable Care Act. The proposal, which passed with a bipartisan majority, would further require that figures include enrollment numbers disaggregated by race, ethnicity, preferred language, age and sex.

Receiving this detailed information is essential to support legislators and advocates’ understanding of who is, and who isn’t, being covered by the ACA. By understanding trends, Congress can look for what populations require additional services to improve enrollment access.

“I hear it from Orange County families all the time—their number one concern is the cost of healthcare,” Congresswoman Porter said. “Every American deserves access to affordable, high-quality health insurance, and I’m glad my colleagues voted to pass my amendment, which will help fulfill this promise to communities of color and other underserved communities in the 45th District and across the country.”

Under the Trump Administration, the Asian American uninsured rate remained virtually flat at 6.4 percent, according to 2017 Census data—the first time this has been the case since the Affordable Care Act was passed into law. Meanwhile, the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander uninsured rate increased from 7.7 percent to 8.3 percent. Previously, disparities in uninsured among both groups had dramatically decreased.

This amendment was supported by the Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF), UnidosUS, and Equality California.

“I applaud Representative Porter for this important amendment. We are seeing a disturbing reversal of progress in uninsured rates among Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. The data HHS would be required to release will help us find who is and isn't enrolling in ACA coverage so that we and our partners can work to reverse this trend,” said Kathy Ko Chin, President and CEO of APIAHF.

“We thank Representative Porter for her leadership and including an amendment in the House Appropriations Bill that promotes health equity through disaggregated data collection.  Ensuring that ACA enrollment data be disaggregated by race, ethnicity, preferred language, age and sex would provide greater transparency on our nation’s progress in covering the remaining uninsured, including Latino children and families, as well as inform future outreach and enrollment strategies,” said Steven Lopez, Director of Health Policy at UnidosUS.

Congresswoman Porter has been committed to increasing access to affordable, high-quality healthcare for Orange County families. This week, she introduced bipartisan legislation to improve compliance with laws that require that mental health coverage cannot be more restrictive than coverage for other medical care. Last month, the House passed a bill to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions with an amendment from Porter that would prohibit administrative actions taking care away from consumers. She has repeatedly called out the Trump Administration’s legal campaign to eliminate all of the healthcare protections provided by the Affordable Care Act.

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