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VIDEO: VA House Dems Caucus Chair Kathy Tran, Senate Health Committee Chair Ghazala Hashmi, Join Protect Our Care Virginia to Highlight New Health Care Benefits for Older Virginians and the AAPI Community

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From Protect Our Care:

VIDEO: Virginia House Democratic Caucus Chair Kathy Tran and Senate Health Committee Chair Ghazala Hashmi Join Protect Our Care Virginia to Highlight New Health Care Benefits for Older Virginians and the AAPI Community

*Watch the event HERE*

May is both Older Americans Month and Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia House Democratic Caucus Chair Kathy Tran, Senate Education and Health Committee Chair Ghazala Hashmi, advocates and storytellers today joined Protect Our Care Virginia to highlight the steps President Biden and Democrats in Congress and the General Assembly have taken to protect and expand access to health care for older Virginians and the commonwealth’s Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.

May is both Older Americans Month and Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders Heritage Month. Caucus Chair Tran, the first Vietnamese-American elected to the Virginia General Assembly, and Senator Hashmi, the first Indian-American elected to the General Assembly, discussed recent legislative victories that include:

  • Savings from the Inflation Reduction Act:

o Capping insulin costs to $35 per month, lowering costs for nearly 36,500 Virginians on Medicare Part D and Part B

o  Making vaccines free for nearly 71,100 Virginians on Medicare Part D

o  Reducing health care plans purchased through the Affordable Care Act Marketplace for over 250,000 Virginians. Around 48,000 AAPI Virginians enrolled in a health care plan last year. 

o Currently capping out-of-pocket prescription drug costs to about $3,300 this year for Medicare Part D recipients and $2,000 beginning in 2025.

  • State legislative victories:

o  Pay raises for home health workers

o  $2 million for improved language access services

o  $40 million in support funding for nursing homes

“House Democrats fought and won to keep important health care investments such as for Federally Qualified Health Care Centers and free clinics, which are crucial resources for New Americans,” said Virginia House Democratic Caucus Chair Kathy Tran. “You can compare that with Governor Youngkin’s budget. He didn’t prioritize these facilities at all in his original budget proposal. He was too focused on restructuring the tax code to benefit the ultra-wealthy.”

“I have one clear message to all of our friends and families in Virginia. As long as I serve as chair of the Senate Education and Health Committee, we are not going to go back on our progress. I’m going to continue to be a part of the brick wall and block any efforts that would undermine access to health care, especially health care for older Virginians and AAPI Virginians,” said Senate Education and Health Committee Chair Ghazala Hashmi.

“Until the Democrats passed the Affordable Care Act, it could be very hard for the self-employed and small business owners to be able to access health insurance,” said Shyamali Hauth, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast Regional Director for South Asians for America. “The ACA was a game changer for business owners in our community. Protecting the Affordable Care Act means we’re protecting Asian-owned businesses.”

“I and all of my fellow Medicare recipients are so grateful for the leadership of President Biden to recognize that solutions had to be found to reduce the enormous potential costs of high end prescription drugs. Retired seniors such as I rely on a limited income from Social Security, along with retirement savings. Thanks to the leadership of the President, I can save thousands of dollars each year. What can I do with this money? Perhaps I can pass it on to my grandchildren. They have many needs and their parents have many needs,” said Irvin Varkonyi, a 73-year old Medicare enrollee and resident of Fairfax County who is already seeing significant cost savings on his prescriptions.

“As we celebrate the work Democrats are doing to make health care more accessible and affordable in these communities, you can’t ignore the clear contrast here when it comes to our values,” said Protect Our Care Virginia State Director Katie Baker. “Not a single Republican voted to lower the cost of prescription drugs through the Inflation Reduction Act, and Donald Trump has said that he would terminate the Affordable Care Act.”

You can watch the full event HERE, and learn more about new health care benefits for older Americans across the country HERE. You can learn about how the Inflation Reduction Act benefits the AAPI community HERE.

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Protect Our Care is dedicated to making high-quality, affordable and equitable health care a right, and not a privilege, for everyone in America. We educate the public, influence policy, support health care champions and hold politicians accountable. We fight to expand access to affordable, high-quality health insurance, lower the cost of health care for individuals and families, and reduce inequities in health care based on gender, income, race, ethnicity, geography, or sexual preference.

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