WASHINGTON – Today marks the eleventh anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Juliet K. Choi, president and CEO of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, released the following statement:
“Thanks to the passage of the Affordable Care Act, and the tireless work of advocates, community health organizations and Navigators, tens of millions, including two million Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, are now insured. Having access to affordable health care and consumer protections is critical, especially during a global pandemic.
We applaud President Biden for pledging to build upon the legacy of this landmark law and acting swiftly to strengthen Medicaid and restore protections provided by the ACA. Since his executive order to re-open the Marketplace enrollment period from February 15 through May 15, more than 200,000 Americans signed up during the first two weeks and now have health insurance. Additionally, the historic passage of the American Rescue Plan Act serves as the next big down payment to reduce health disparities, improve health outcomes and will narrow the uninsured gap for hard-working families. Medicaid Expansion is key to achieving health equity, and states have the option to expanding Medicaid, making sure our most vulnerable families, especially those that have faced devasting hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic, can finally access quality, affordable care.
As we celebrate this special anniversary of the ACA, we are reminded and guided by the fact that despite these historic gains, disparities across communities of color—including the Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities—persist due to poverty, immigration-based barriers, the lack of cultural competency in the health care system and language barriers.”
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The Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) influences policy, mobilizes communities and strengthens programs and organizations to improve the health of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.