ASIA and partner organizations in 23 cities celebrate Health Care Reform

AA and NHPI Health Organizations in 23 Cities Celebrate One Year Anniversary of Health Care Reform

For Immediate Release
March 23, 2011

Washington, DC – As part of a national celebration of the one-year anniversary of passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, APIAHF and members of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) health organizations in 23 communities in 15 states today held birthday party events to celebrate the largest overhaul of the health care system in decades.

In the year since health care reform was signed into law on March 23, 2010, a number of benefits have already gone into effect. Health care reform provides coverage for young adults to stay on their parent’s health plan until age 26, provides no-cost preventive services, eliminates lifetime caps on health coverage, and prohibits insurers from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions.

“Health care reform is making a big difference in our communities by lowering the cost of health care, increasing the number of health care providers, holding health insurance companies accountable, and extending health coverage to 32 million people,” said APIAHF president and CEO Kathy Lim Ko. “We look forward to working with our policymakers to implement health care reform in ways that truly give everyone access to care. Health care reform is a great first step in protecting and improving the health and well-being of our children, families, and communities.”

The Coalition for Asian American Children and Families and Project CHARGE in New York visited their U.S. Senate and U.S. House delegations to thank their members for health care reform and to urge support for its full implementation. AAs and NHPIs are the fastest growing community in New York City. Of the more than one million AAs and NHPIs in New York, one in eight do not have health insurance, and more than 80% of those uninsured are foreign-born.

“We are celebrating the much needed improvements to our health care system and the promise that health care reform brings to our communities. As we implement health care reform we look forward to working with our policymakers to build on these improvements and ensure a truly inclusive and accessible health care system,” said Wayne Ho, executive director of the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families. “For the well-being of all New Yorkers, our policymakers must prioritize the integration and the preservation of programs that support Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander workers and their families.”

The Vietnamese American Young Leaders Association of New Orleans (VAYLA-NO) and Mary Queen of Vietnam Community Development Corporation Inc. (MQVN CDC) will hosted birthday event with local youth and elders to celebrate increased access to health coverage for young adults. Health care reform requires that insurance companies allow young adults under 26 to remain covered under their parent’s insurance plan.

“Our communities have been hit hard by Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill last year. These two disasters have magnified the significant impact our struggling economy and high unemployment rates have had on our young people and their families. With all of that to worry about, it’s a good thing that Congress acted to provide our young people increased access to health insurance coverage,” said Minh Nguyen, founder and executive director VAYLA-NO. “We wanted to bring members of our community together and celebrate the gains that have been made through health care reform, while also letting our policymakers know that we expect them to work with us to make sure that our young adults have every opportunity to become healthy and productive adults.”