For too long, many members of the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander community have lacked access to quality, affordable health care. Consider these statistics:
- One in four Korean Americans is uninsured;
- Nearly 40% of Asian American women over the age of 40 don’t get routine mammograms;
- One in four Asian Americans over the age of 18 – and one in three Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders – has not seen a doctor in the last year.
The Affordable Care Act provides an opportunity to provide nearly two million uninsured Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders with quality, affordable health care. In addition, eight out of ten uninsured AAPIs may be eligible for financial assistance through Medicaid, CHIP, or tax credits in the Health Insurance Marketplace. That’s why, according to a report released by HHS last week, of enrollees in the Marketplace, 8% were Asian American, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander.
Across the country, organizations and individuals stepped up to do their part to educate the AAPI community about the Affordable Care Act. And last month, the White House and U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) honored the following 11 advocates and community leaders as “Champions of Change” for their work to educate Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders about the Affordable Care Act:
- Teresita Batayola, CEO, International Community Health Services (Seattle, WA)
- Sophie Duong, CEO/President, Nationwide Viet Radio (Falls Church, VA)
- Howard J. Eng, Assistant Professor and Director of the Southwest Border Rural Health Research Center, The University of Arizona College of Public Health (Tucson, AZ)
- Minja Hong, Program Coordinator of Healthcare Access Services, Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York (New York, NY)
- Priscilla Huang, Action for Health Justice (Washington, DC)
- Amy Jones, Director of Health & Social Services, Southeast Asian Mutual Assistance Association Coalition, Inc. (Philadelphia, PA)
- Manjusha P. Kulkarni, Executive Director, South Asian Network (Artesia, CA)
- Ranjana Paintal, Program Manager, Asian Health Coalition of Illinois (Chicago, IL)
- Cathy Phan, Affordable Care Act Program Coordinator, Asian American Health Coalition - HOPE Clinic (Houston, TX)
- Bruce Thao, Director of Programs, Hmong American Partnership and Hmong National Development (St. Paul, MN)
- Cathy Vue, Program Coordinator, Asian Services In Action, Inc. (Cleveland, OH)
Gautam Raghavan is Associate Director of the Office of Public Engagement.