Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Blog

  • Helping Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders #GetCovered During AAPI Enrollment Week of Action

    For the past eight years, Maly Xiong, a Hmong-American entrepreneur and single mom, was uninsured because she could not afford health insurance. Every night she prayed that her children wouldn’t get sick because they did not have health insurance. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, Maly was able to finally sign up for health insurance. Maly and her six children are now insured, healthy, and free from worry. “Getting covered has been a blessing,” she said.

    Maly Xiong AAPI ACA Graphic

    Stories such as Maly’s make the March 31 Affordable Care Act open enrollment deadline even more critical for the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community to take action and get AAPIs enrolled in health coverage.

    This is exactly what the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI), the White House Office of Public Engagement, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), along with many passionate community leaders, did during the AAPI Enrollment Week of Action last week. Through collaboration between federal agencies and AAPI community leaders, the message was clear: #GetCovered.

    Kicking off the week, HHS released a report that announced eight out of 10 uninsured Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders may be eligible for financial assistance in the Health Insurance Marketplace. The White House also released a new infographic about AAPIs and the ACA

    During the week, I was honored to participate in a community conference call with Vice President Joe Biden to personally thank the many Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islanders leaders from national, state, and local community organizations who are working hard to educate the AAPI community about the importance of the ACA. 

    I was also excited to participate in a Google+ Hangout with actor Maulik Pancholy; Meena Seshamani, Deputy Director of the HHS Office of Health Reform; and Gautam Raghavan, Advisor for the White House Office on Public Engagement. We highlighted the important benefits of signing up for the Health Insurance Marketplace:


    During AAPI Enrollment Week of Action, we re-released the White House Initiative on Asian American and Pacific Islanders’ series of in-language Google+ Hangouts on the Affordable Care Act. This series included Google+ Hangouts in KoreanVietnamese, and Chinese (Mandarin)

    And people across the country, including celebrities and community leaders, helped get the word out both on the ground and online. 

    Community organizations in Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, and New York hosted enrollment events to walk individuals through the process of signing up for health coverage. For example, in Atlanta, Georgia, the Center for Pan Asian Community Services held an AAPI Enrollment Summit with over 40 assistors who spoke 16 languages available to provide in-person and in-language enrollment assistance for local community members.

    I would like to thank every individual who has helped with outreach and enrollment efforts in your neighborhoods and communities. Our simple actions are part of a larger movement for the overall health and well-being of the AAPI community.

    With only a few days left of open enrollment, please continue to direct members of the community to and to the 24/7 call center, available in over 150 languages, at 1-800-318-2596.

    Dr. Howard K. Koh is Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

  • March 26 Webinar on Hepatitis B Data Collection and Management

    Please join the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) and Hep B United on Wednesday, March 26, 2014 from 3:00-4:00 p.m. EST for a webinar on Hepatitis B Data Collection and Management featuring speakers from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Hep B United.

    Hepatitis B affects up to two million Americans  yet the disease is often overlooked and largely underdiagnosed. Join us for this interactive session to learn more about hepatitis B surveillance in the United States and discuss tools and best practices toward reducing hepatitis B health disparities. Panelists will share innovative strategies in community-based screening settings, data collection and management.

    • Date:
      Wednesday, March 26, 2014
    • Time:
      3:00-4:00 p.m. EST
    • Register at:
      A confirmation email with information on how to join the webinar will be sent to you after you register.


    • Kate Moraras, Senior Program Director, Hepatitis B Foundation and Director, Hep B United


    • Alek Sripipatana, PhD, MPH, Chief, Data Branch, Office of Quality and Data, Bureau of Primary Health Care, HHS Health Resources and Services Administration
    • Aurora Wong, Coordinator, Hep B Free Las Vegas, Hep B United Partner

    Note: This webinar is off the record and not for press purposes.

    Christine Soyong Harley is Senior Policy Advisor at the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

  • Increasing Participation through Stronger Partnerships

    Members of the RIWG Discuss Worker's Rights Issues

    Members of the RIWG discuss workers’ rights issues during a regional roundtable in Boston, March 18, 2014. (by Roberto Medina)

    Recently, we had the pleasure of organizing the first Regional Interagency Working Group roundtable with members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community in Boston. One of the RIWG's goals is to bring the Federal government to local communities. We had a constructive dialogue about how we could further develop partnerships with the AAPI community in order to tackle the challenges of accessing government services and programs. Speakers from the US Department of Labor, the Department of Health and Human Services, Citizenship and Immigration Services, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Small Business Administration, and the Social Security Administration assembled to not only present their respective agency's work, but to also answer questions from attendees.

    We are proud to report that the inaugural roundtable for Region 1 was a success. Staff from the Federal agencies responded directly to questions about issues surrounding workers' rights, economic development and assistance, and health and social services. The discussions included how limited English proficient individuals not only had difficulty accessing programs for small business and home loans, but also did not know how to access the technical assistance programs designed to assist applicants, due to the language barrier. Issues of language access arose again concerning access to worker protections laws and the importance of providing that information in culturally sensitive and linguistically relevant ways.

    Roundtable attendees also requested there be more opportunities to engage with each individual agency to further strengthen and build new partnerships between their friends and neighbors and the Federal government. Given that Region 1 RIWG members possess decades of experience in the Federal government, we are well-positioned to help open the doors of the government to those who have been left out for too long. But most importantly, we also have the energy and the commitment to continue to confront these and many other issues with the AAPI community in the days and weeks ahead.

    Roberto Medina is the Regional Public Affairs Officer for the Social Security Administration. Kenneth An is the Director of the Boston office for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Both are members of the White House Initiative on AAPIs’ Regional Interagency Working Group, Region 1.

  • White House Engages Filipino American Leaders

    Filipino American Leaders Forum

    175 leaders gather for a White House Briefing for Filipino American Leaders, March 14, 2014. (by White House Office of Public Engagement)

    Last week, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) and the White House Office of Public Engagement brought together 175 Filipino American leaders at the White House to discuss key issues of importance to the community. Participants came from diverse sectors of society – non-profits, businesses, government, and philanthropy – and traveled from the far reaches of the country, including New York, California, and even Hawaii.

    The briefing opened with remarks by the Honorable Lorna Schofield, the first Filipino-American Article III federal judge, who spoke about her journey to becoming a lifetime judge and how her mother encouraged her to reach for her dreams. 

    In the wake of the devastation brought on by Typhoon Haiyan, Nancy Lindborg, Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), discussed her November 2013 visit to Tacloban and her amazement at the resilience of the Filipino people who were impacted by the typhoon. To date, the United States has provided more than $87 million in humanitarian funding to the Philippines for Typhoon Haiyan relief. Gloria Steele, USAID Mission Director for the Philippines and the Pacific Islands, provided a video testimonial on how the most effective way that people can assist relief efforts is by making cash donations to reputable humanitarian organizations.

    Kiran Ahuja, WHIAAPI Executive Director, engaged participants in an interactive dialogue about the Initiative’s cross-cutting priorities and the reports by the Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation Fund Interagency Working Group. She also highlighted several efforts to better connect the AAPI community with the federal government, including WHIAAPI’s call for ideas to expand opportunities for AAPIs and request for feedback on federal agency plans.  

    Representatives from the White House National Security Council and Domestic Policy Council, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Small Business Administration shared updates on the President’s planned trip to the Philippines in April, commonsense immigration reform, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the Affordable Care Act, and small business resources. In group breakouts, participants discussed how the Administration can continue to partner with Filipino American leaders and organizations to serve the community’s needs. The briefing closed with remarks by Cris Comerford, the first Filipino American White House Executive Chef, who encouraged participants to continue persevering in their efforts to uplift the community.

    As a proud second-generation Filipino American, I continue to be inspired by community leaders throughout the country who have worked collaboratively to help our kababayan, or fellow countrymen – whether it’s providing humanitarian assistance in the Philippines or spreading awareness about key federal resources throughout the United States. I look forward to continued collaboration, advocacy, and engagement between the Filipino American community and the federal government in the months and years ahead.

    Jason Tengco is a Senior Advisor for the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

  • Watch Our In-Language Google+ Hangouts on the Affordable Care Act

    As a community with some of the highest uninsured rates, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) across the country will benefit from the Affordable Care Act.

    Nearly one in five AAPIs was uninsured prior to passage of the Affordable Care Act. And some of the largest AAPI ethnic communities have uninsured rates higher than the national average, including Korean (one in three), Vietnamese (one in five), and Chinese (one in seven) communities. These communities are also more likely to be limited English proficiency (or LEP), making it especially important to have access to in-language materials to learn about and enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace.

    Two million AAPIs are projected to become insured thanks to the Affordable Care Act. For AAPIs, the law’s benefits will help reduce disparities in both health care and health outcomes through expanded insurance coverage and better access to high-quality health care services. This week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that eight out of 10 uninsured Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders may be eligible for financial assistance in the Health Insurance Marketplace.

    The importance of educating our communities on the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, the importance of health insurance, and how to enroll through the Health Insurance Marketplaces is invaluable to our communities. That’s why the White House Initiative on Asian American and Pacific Islanders hosted a series of in-language Google+ Hangouts on the Affordable Care Act. This series included Google+ Hangouts in Korean, Vietnamese, and Chinese (Mandarin)

    Check out our Korean Google+ Hangout on the Affordable Care Act:

    Check out our Vietnamese Google+ Hangout on the Affordable Care Act: 

    Check out our Chinese (Mandarin) Google+ Hangout on the Affordable Care Act:

    With working smoothly, more than 5 million Americans have already signed up for health insurance.

    If you or someone you care about is uninsured, it’s not too late to sign up for quality, affordable coverage – but you’ll want to act today and before March 31. If you don’t enroll by March 31, you can’t enroll again until November 2014. Visit or call 1-800-318-2596 today to learn more.

    Kiran Ahuja is Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

    저렴한 케어법(Affordable Care Act) 대한 자국어 구글 행아웃을 시청하세요

    저자: Kiran Ahuja

    비보험률이 가장 높은 커뮤니티들에 속하는 미국 전역의 아시아계 미국인 및 태평양 제도민(AAPI)들은 저렴한 케어법으로 혜택을 받게 됩니다.

    거의 다섯 명중 한 명의 AAPI인이 저렴한 케어법이 통과되기 이전에는 보험에 들지 않았습니다. 최대 규모의 AAPI 인종 그룹 몇 몇은 미국 평균보다 더 높은 비보험률을 가지는데 여기에는 한국인(3명중 1명), 베트남인(5명중 1명), 중국인(7명중 1명) 커뮤니티들이 포함됩니다. 이 커뮤니티들은 또한 영어 능력 한계자(또는 LEP)일 가능성이 많아 건강보험 마켓플레이스에 대해 배우거나 등록하기 위한 자료를 모국어로 접하는 것이 특히 중요합니다.

    2백만명의 AAPI인들이 저렴한 케어법 덕분에 보험에 들 것이라 예상됩니다. AAPI들의 경우, 이 법안은 확대된 보험 적용과 고품질의 헬스케어 서비스 접근의 개선을 통해 건강 보험과 건강 결과에 있어 격차를 줄이는 혜택을 줄 것입니다.  이번 주, 미국 보건 복지부는 10 명 중 8 무보험 아시아계 미국인, 하와이 원주민, 태평양 섬 주민이 건강 보험 마켓 플레이스에서재정지원을 받을수 있다고 발표했다.

    저렴한 케어 법안의 혜택에 관해 커뮤니티 그룹에 교육을 제공하는 중요성, 건강 보험의 중요성 및 건강 보험 시장(Health Insurance Marketplaces)을 통한 등록 방법은 우리 커뮤니티에 아주 소중합니다. 이런 이유로 아시아계 미국인 및 태평양 제도민(AAPI)에 대한 백악관 이니셔티브가 저렴한 케어 법안에 대한 자국어로 진행되는 구글 행아웃 시리즈를 주최하였습니다. 이 구글 행아웃 시리즈는 한국어, 베트남어중국어로  제공됩니다.

    HealthCare.gov가 순조롭게 협력함으로써, 5백만명 이상의 미국인들이 이미 건강 보험에 등록했습니다.

    귀하나 귀하가 아끼는 누군가가 아직 보험에 들지 않았다면, 고품질의 저렴한 보험에 등록하는 것이 아직 늦지 않았습니다. 하지만 지금 당장 아니면 3 31 전까지는 행동을 취해야 합니다. 그렇지 않으면, 2014년 11월까지 다시 기다려야 합니다. 더 자세히 배우려면 HealthCare.gov또는 1-800-318-2596에 전화 를 오늘 방문해 주십시오.

    Kiran Ahuja아시아계 미국인과 태평양 제도에백악관 이니셔티브의 행정 담당관 입니다."

    Hãy xem các buổi trình phát về Đạo Luật Chăm Sóc Sức Khỏe với Bảo Phí Phù Hợp bằng Ngôn ngữ Bản xứ qua Google Hangout

    Do Kiran Ahuja trình bày

    Là một cộng đồng với tỷ lệ người không có bảo hiểm cao nhất, người Mỹ gốc Á và Đảo Thái Bình Dương (AAPI) trong toàn quốc sẽ có lợi từ Đạo Luật Chăm Sóc Sức Khỏe với Bảo Phí Phù Hợp.

    Hầu như một trong năm người AAPI đã không có bảo hiểm trước khi Đạo Luật Chăm Sóc Sức Khỏe với Bảo Phí Phù Hợp được thông qua thành luật. Một vài cộng đồng thuộc sắc dân AAPI có số dân không có bảo hiểm cao hơn mức trung bình toàn quốc, bao gồm các cộng đồng Hàn Quốc (một trong ba), Việt Nam (một trong năm), và Trung Quốc (một trong bảy).  Các cộng đồng này có lẽ cũng có trình độ Tiếng Anh giới hạn (hoặc là LEP), cho nên việc cung cấp được tài liệu bằng ngôn ngữ bản xứ rất quan trọng để tìm hiểu và ghi danh với Thị Trường Bảo Hiểm Sức Khỏe.

    Dự tính là hai triệu người thuộc sắc dân AAPI sẽ có bảo hiểm nhờ Đạo Luật Chăm Sóc Sức Khỏe với Bảo Phí Phù Hợp.  Đối với nhóm người AAPI, đạo luật sẽ có hữu ích để giảm thiểu sự chênh lệch về cả hai lĩnh vực chăm sóc sức khỏe và kết quả sức khỏe do việc nới rộng chương trình bảo hiểm và mức tiếp cận các dịch vụ sức khỏe phẩm chất tốt hơn. Tuần này Bộ Y tế và Dịch vụ Nhân sinh Hoa Kỳ thông báo rằng 8 trong số 10 người Mỹ không có bảo hiểm gốc châu Á, Hawaii bản địa, và đảo Thái Bình Dương có thể hội đủ điều kiện để được hỗ trợ tài chính trong thị trường bảo hiểm y tế.

    Sự quan trọng trong việc giáo dục các cộng đồng của chúng ta về các lợi ích của Đạo Luật Chăm Sóc Sức Khỏe với Bảo Phí Phù Hợp, cùng với tầm quan trọng của bảo hiểm sức khỏe, và cách thức ghi danh qua Thị Trường Bảo Hiểm Sức Khỏe, là vô giá đối với các cộng đồng này.  Đó là lý do tại sao Cơ Quan cố vấn của Tòa Bạch Ốc về Người Á Châu và Đảo Thái Bình Dương đã tổ chức các đợt Google Hangout về Đạo Luật Chăm Sóc Sức Khỏe với Bảo Phí Phù Hợp bằng những ngôn ngữ bản xứ.  Đợt này gồm có các buổi Google Hangout bằng tiếng Đại Hàn, Việt Nam, và Trung Hoa. Hãy nhấn vào link Tiếng Việt để biết thêm chi tiết.                                                                                                

    Hiện nay trang mạng làm việc suông sẽ, và hơn 5 triệu người Mỹ đã ghi danh mua bảo hiểm.

    Nếu quý vị hoặc người thân chưa có bảo hiểm y tế, vẫn không quá muộn để ghi danh mua bảo hiểm phẩm chất với bảo phí phù hợp – tuy nhiên quý vị nên làm ngay trong hôm nay và trước ngày 31 Tháng 3.  Nếu đến ngày 31 Tháng 3, mà không ghi danh, thì quý vị không thể ghi danh cho đến Tháng 11, 2014.   Hãy vào trang mạng hoặc gọi 1-800-318-2596 hôm nay để biết thêm chi tiết.

    Kiran Ahuja là Giám đốc điều hành của Ban Cố Vấn ​​của Nhà Trắng về người Mỹ gốc Á và Đảo Thái Bình Dương.


    撰文:奇兰。阿胡亚(Kiran Ahuja)


    在“平价医疗法案”成为法律之前,亚太裔美国人中有将近五分之一的人口没有医疗保险。而某些最大的亚太裔社区的未投保比例超出了全美的平均水平,其中包括韩国裔(三分之一未投保)、越南裔(五分之一未投保)、以及华裔(七分之一未投保)社区。这些社区也更可能是英语能力有限(LEP)的社区,因而尤其重要的是,他们有机会以母语获得相关资料来了解和参加健康保险市场(Health Insurance Marketplace)




    如果您或您关心的人士尚未参保,那么现在报名参加高品质的、实惠的保险计划还不会太晚 - 但您今天就需要行动,而不要晚于331。如果您未于331之前参保,则下次要等到2014年11月才能参保。请立即访问HealthCare.gov网站,或拨打:1-800-318-2596了解更多信息。

    奇兰。阿胡亚(Kiran Ahuja)现任白宫亚太裔事务处行政主任。


    撰文:  Kiran Ahuja奇蘭。阿胡亞(Kiran Ahuja)


    在“平價醫療法案”成為法律之前,亞太裔美國人中有將近五分之一的人口沒有醫療保險。而某些最大的亞太裔社區的未投保比例超出了全美的平均水平,其中包括韓國裔(三分之一未投保)、越南裔(五分之一未投保)、以及華裔(七分之一未投保)等社區。這些社區也更可能是英語能力有限(LEP)的社區,因而尤​​其重要的是,他們有機會以其母語獲得相關資料來了解和參加健康保險市場(Health Insurance Marketplace)




    如果您或您關心的人士尚未參保,那麼現在報名參加高品質的、實惠的保險計劃還不會太晚- 但您今天就需要行動,而不要晚於331。如果您未於331之前參保,則下次要等到2014年11月才能參保。請立即訪問HealthCare.gov網站或撥打:1-800-318-2596了解更多信息。

    奇蘭。阿胡亞(Kiran Ahuja) 現任白宮亞太裔事務處行政主任。

  • National AAPI Enrollment Week of Action Google+ Hangout

    Please join the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), as well as community leaders from across the country, on Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 5:00 PM ET for our National AAPI Enrollment Week of Action Google+ Hangout!

    Approximately 1.9 million Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPIs) are projected to benefit from new options for health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. With the open enrollment period for coverage in 2014 ending on March 31, many are still unaware of the health coverage options available to them through the Affordable Care Act. 

    We invite you to join Dr. Howard Koh, Assistant Secretary for Health; Meena Seshamani, Deputy Director in the Office of Health Reform; and community leaders as they answer your Affordable Care Act questions. Please join us so you can learn more about the opportunities to improve the health of the AAPI community and find out how to #GetCovered by March 31, 2014.  

    Please submit your Affordable Care Act questions for the Google+ Hangout to the Office of Minority Health at by Tuesday, March 18, 2014, and join the conversation on Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 5:00 PM ET.

    Gautam Raghavan is an Advisor in the White House Office of Public Engagement.