COFA Citizens And Our National Security Since 1986, the Compacts of Free Association (COFA) have defined the relationship between the United States and the independent governments of the Freely Associated States (FAS) including the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau. Under the Compact, in exchange for…
Medicaid Restoration for Compact of Free Association Communities
What we do: APIAHF works to educate policymakers and fight for the health care rights of COFA communities.
Compact of Free Association Migrants (COFA Communities) who hail from the Federated States of Micronesia, The Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau have a unique relationship with the U.S. In exchange for permitting the U.S. exclusive use and military strategic positioning in the Pacific, the U.S. provides grants to fund education, health care, and infrastructure in these jurisdiction. The Compacts allow COFA citizens to freely travel, live and work in the country without a visa and with no time restraints. Maintaining good relationships with our COFA allies is imperative to our national security.
ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE DENIED
While they are classified as “non-immigrants” when they enter the U.S., COFA communities share many of the same difficulties faced by immigrants, including access to health insurance. The 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) stripped COFA communities of eligibility for most federal benefits, including Medicaid. Many COFA migrants suffer from chronic diseases and health conditions that can be linked to the medical effects of U.S. nuclear testing in the region.
CONGRESS MUST ACT
Congress must correct the 1996 error by restoring Medicaid eligibility to COFA communities.
As organizations that care deeply about improving the health of Pacific Islanders, we write in support of the Covering our FAS Allies (COFA) Act. We believe that Congress must restore Medicaid coverage for communities lawfully residing in the United States under the Compacts of Free Association (COFA) between the U.S. and the Federated States of…
COFA Migrants and Our National Security Since 1986, the Compacts of Free Association (COFA) have defined the relationship between the United States and the independent governments of the Freely Associated States (FAS) including: the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau. Under the Compact, in exchange for…