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Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum: Health Care

Health Care for Me

Home Our Stories

Fangyu Wu

Single Parent of Five, Child with Disability, Medicaid CHIP

She never thought that she or her family would be without health insurance. But after years of marriage, five beautiful children, and overcoming the rollercoaster of a once-thriving business, she found herself in the middle of a life changing situation.

Tuyet Vu

Mother of Six, Child with Disability, Medicaid

Because Tuyet and her then minor children qualified for Medicaid after her husband died, she was grateful to have not worried about paying for school physicals, visits to the doctor, and emergency medical events.

Ritu Gyawali

Elderly Parents, Chronic Condition, Medicaid, Medicare

In the early 2000s, Ritu’s father began to feel increasingly fatigued, dizzy with periods of rapid heartbeat. He would describe the pain like his heart was beating out of his chest. He was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation and eventually, congestive heart failure.

Janellia Lejjena

Mother of Three and COFA Migrant

As a COFA citizen from the Marshall Islands, Janellia and her family are very excited to finally have medical insurance to cover medical expenses. It has reduced their burden. Through insurance they can afford, thanks to the tax credits under the Affordable Care Act, they have easy access to medical providers.

Mee Pwa

Mother of Four, Child with a Disability, Caring for Elderly Parents

Her daughter needs constant care at school where a nurse changes her catheter every three hours. The medical supplies and care that her daughter receives is all covered under Medicaid.

Susan Matsuko Shinagawa

Cancer Survivor and Advocate

Before health care reform, I was denied a biopsy for a prominent and painful breast lump by a surgical oncologist who admonished me that, “Asian women don’t get breast cancer”.

Kijoong Shin

Small Business Owner

Before health care reform, I was on Nationwide insurance with a $5000 deductible. I had open heart surgery and the bill was $54,000.

Kazuko Davis

Access to Culturally Adequate Care

Before health care reform, my problem regarding health insurance or healthcare access is the language barrier.

AnhDao Bui


The types of barriers that I have encountered with relating to healthcare access and insurance is that when I turned 18, I was no longer under my dad's health insurance plan.

Jane Ka'ala Pang, RN, PHN

Marshallese Community CA Survivors

PIHP continues to partner with other small NHPI community agencies to provide the critical support for many NHPI clients navigating the fragmented, hostile medical services available.

Anton Saleh


Before health care reform, I was unable to afford my prescription medications because my cancer medications were not on my insurer's approved drug list.

Dennis Chau


Before health care reform, I can barely remember the days when I still had insurance.

Asian & Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV/AIDS

A Provider Perspective

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), particularly aspects related to pre-existing conditions, has increased our HIV-positive patients’ access to medical services in a timely manner.

Portri Ranka Manis

RN & Community Health Worker Trainer

…it was difficult for a small organization like ours with only 3 employees at the time to find affordable health insurance packages.

Jane Ka'ala Pang, RN, PHN

RN & Community Health Worker Trainer

Before health care reform, I had a client who was not able to afford health coverage and was able to get Medi-Cal (California’s Medicaid program) coverage once she was diagnosed with breast cancer, but only for 18 months.

Jessica Huang


For many young adults like me, it’s particularly difficult to afford insurance working in entry-level, low-wage or temporary jobs. It’s even harder when you are also going to school.

Tot 'Sy' Tran

New Orleans' Vietnamese Community Patient

Before health care reform, I was not provided with adequate language access.

Chi-Hsin Chang


Before health care reform, I worked as a graduate assistant and the university provided me with health insurance so I could go to the school clinic for free.

Kay Bounkeua


Before health care reform, I had to pay for private insurance which was a huge part of my already miniscule income as a graduate student. Regardless of coverage, it was extremely minimal and I often delayed or cancelled appointments that were crucial for preventative care.


Language Access

Language barrier has always been an issue in my family.