May 9, 2013

WASHINGTON—National Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) leaders met with President Obama and White House officials yesterday to discuss key issues impacting AA and NHPI communities. Kathy Ko Chin, president and CEO of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF), issued the following statement.

“Yesterday President Obama reemphasized his commitment to Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders through policies and federal efforts that prioritize and meet community needs. President Obama’s leadership and commitment has already brought us health reform and has now paved the way for an immigration reform bill to pass this year.

With open enrollment for health reform’s marketplaces set to start in October, we asked the president to make sure that all communities are able to benefit from this historic achievement. Health reform offers the opportunity to significantly improve the health of AA and NHPI communities by expanding access to affordable coverage and addressing health disparities.

We are concerned, however, that two vulnerable communities—persons who do not speak English very well or at all and those who do not have legal immigration status—will be left out. We are committed to ensuring that everyone in our country has access to affordable health care, and look forward to working with the president and Congress to make sure that everyone will benefit from health reform.”