Health Care Blog
- Posted byon February 4, 2014 at 4:25 PM EDT
"The bottom line is I'm going to need you, and the country needs you. And a lot of your friends and peers, they may not know that they need you, but if something happens somewhere down the road where they really need to get to a hospital or a doctor, the fact that you have talked to them and gotten them involved is going to make all the difference in the world." — President Obama at the Affordable Care Act Youth Summit, Dec. 4, 2013
An estimated two million uninsured Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are eligible for health insurance coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – but these individuals won’t gain access to affordable health care unless they know about the benefits of the ACA and how to enroll for coverage.
Since open enrollment kicked off on October 1, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders has continued efforts to reach and engage the AAPI community. Community members have stepped up across the nation to lead efforts to spread the word about the ACA and help fellow AAPIs with enrollment.
We recently heard about a Laotian family who came to America as refugees, with the hope of improving their lives. For 30 years, the father worked at the same job to provide for his family, but his children have met challenges in the job market. His daughter completed college, but has to make ends meet with a combination of temporary and factory jobs, none of which provide insurance. His son hasn't been able to find a steady job. Both faced mounting medical bills, but were previously denied for Medicaid because their minimal incomes were considered too high.
Thanks to the ACA, the family now has access to essential health care they couldn’t afford before. Because they live in Illinois—a state that expanded its Medicaid program—they now qualify for Medicaid.
While many AAPIs, like this family, are benefitting from the ACA, we don’t hear about it enough. Do you have a story of your own to share? Maybe you’ve signed up for coverage or helped someone enroll, or maybe you’ve talked to your friends, family or coworkers about how the ACA can help them – let us know. Send your name, location, and story to us at WhiteHouseAAPI@ed.gov. Sharing your #GetCovered story could help other people learn about why it’s important to get health insurance coverage and how to do it.
If you need health insurance coverage, check out your options for quality, affordable coverage and sign up by visiting HealthCare.gov, by calling 1-800-318-2596, or find someone who can help you in person at localhelp.hhs.gov.
Note: Stories submitted to WHIAAPI may be treated as public information. For example, the stories, along with your name, may be featured on WhiteHouse.gov and HHS.gov and posted on White House and HHS social media channels. We may also provide them to national leaders, members of the press or other individuals outside of the federal government.
Juliet Bui is Policy Advisor on Health at the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
- Posted byon February 3, 2014 at 1:31 PM EDT
Calling all students! February 15 is National Youth Enrollment Day, a collaborative effort to educate young adults across the country on the importance of having health insurance.
The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders invites you to join us on a conference call to learn more about National Youth Enrollment Day and how you can plan activities on your campuses and in your communities.
The conference call will be on Thursday, February 6, at 5:00 PM EST. During the call, you will learn about resources available to help you plan activities around National Youth Enrollment Day.
Email WhiteHouseAAPI@ed.gov with your name, school, graduation year, email address, and organizations you’re part of. Dial-in information will be provided upon confirmation of your RSVP.
If you would also like to sign up to be a Healthy Engaged Youth (HEY!) Ambassador, please indicate your interest in your RSVP email. Through HEY!, we want to empower youth to spread the word to their peers and the AAPI community to ensure our community has access to affordable health care. HEY! Ambassadors commit to leading outreach activities in their communities.
Jason Tengco is Advisor on Community Engagement of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
- Posted byon January 23, 2014 at 2:15 PM EDT
Far too often before the Affordable Care Act came into effect, health insurance did not provide peace of mind – it provided anxiety, panic, and dread. Up to 129 million Americans – that’s nearly one in two people – could be discriminated against because of a pre-existing condition like heart disease, diabetes, or cancer, or for that matter pregnancy or even something as ridiculous as acne.
And for the rest of Americans, they knew that coming down with any illness could mark them with that scarlet letter, where they could be unable to get affordable coverage, be trapped in a job, or even be dropped from their coverage because they got sick and have nowhere to turn. As the Vice President said in a speech to this morning, every family was one job loss or one illness away from seeing the worst of the insurance system – “There but for the grace of God.” Just consider some of these headlines – from before the health care law’s provisions took effect:
- From The Washington Post in 2009: "Acne, Pregnancy Among Disqualifying Conditions"
- From USA Today in 2007: "People Left Holding Bag When Policies Revoked"
- From The New York Times in 2004: "Cost of Benefits Cited as Factor in Slump in Jobs”
- And in 2002: "Hard Decisions for Employers as Costs Soar in Health Care"
Those headlines weren’t flukes, they were emblematic of broad, systemic problems. That’s why we put together this presentation as a reminder of what we’ve left behind now that the Affordable Care Act has come into full effect. You can also find a lot of that same information in this shareable infographic.
- Posted byon January 23, 2014 at 12:25 PM EDT
Next Tuesday, President Obama will deliver his fifth State of the Union address to members of Congress and to the American people. Later that week, President Obama will take a virtual road trip across the country via Google+ Hangouts to discuss the issues and policies laid out in the speech with citizens joining from around the country.
Want to come along for the ride? Here’s how you can participate:
- Record your video question now. Record a 60-second video question for the opportunity to participate in the Hangout Road Trip with the President. Be sure to include your name, location, a bit about yourself and the question you’d like to ask. Then, post it on YouTube or Google+ with the hashtag #AskObama2014.
- Watch the enhanced State of Union. Tune in to Whitehouse.gov on January 28th at 9pm ET to watch President Obama's address live and enhanced with data, graphs and charts that explain the policies and issues he'll be discussing in the speech.
- Join the Hangout Road Trip. Everyone is invited to tune-in for the first-ever Presidential Hangout Road Trip on Friday, January 31st. You can watch it all live on the White House YouTube page, Google+ and on WhiteHouse.gov/SOTU.
- Posted byon January 23, 2014 at 12:07 PM EDT
Our Chinese in-language Hangout will take place today, Thursday, January 23, 2014 from 3:00 - 4:00 PM (EST). We hope you will join the conversation – in Chinese (Mandarin)! Our goal is to bring greater awareness of health care to the AAPI population, so that all people achieve their full potential for health. Join our Google hangout here.
Maria Pastrana Lujan is an Outreach Advisor at the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
汉语Google Hangout将于2014年1月23日星期四，3:00-4:00 PM 美国东岸时间举行。我们希望您可以参与这次重要的交流！我们的目的是将健康保险知识带到亚裔美国人和太平洋岛民的团体，以至所有人民可以活得健康。(在此加入Googlehangout.)
Maria Pastrana Lujan:白宫亚裔美国人和太平洋岛民事务处对外联络顾问。
漢語Google Hangout將於2014年1月23日星期四，3:00-4:00 PM 美國東岸時間舉行。我們希望您可以參與這次重要的交流！我們的目的是將健康保險知識帶到亞裔美國人和太平洋島民的團體，以至所有人民可以活得健康。(在此加入Googlehangout.)
Maria Pastrana Lujan: 白宫亞裔美國人和太平洋島民事務處对外聯繫顾问。
- Posted byon January 17, 2014 at 1:00 PM EDT
We continue to see progress in improving the nation’s health care system, and a key tool to helping achieve that goal is the increased use of electronic health records by the nation’s doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers. These electronic tools serve as the infrastructure to implementing reforms that improve care – many of which are part of the Affordable Care Act.
Doctors and hospitals are using these tools to reduce mistakes and hospital readmissions, provide patients with more information that enable them to stay healthy, and allow for rewarding health care providers for delivering quality, not quantity, of care.
The adoption of those tools is reflected today in a release from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics which provides a view of the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Program and indicates the program is healthy and growing steadily.