For Immediate Release
March 26, 2010

WASHINGTON, DC – The Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) today applauded Congress for passing the Health Care & Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010 (H.R. 4872). The legislation makes important improvements to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act signed into law by the President earlier this week. Both bills represent an unprecedented step forward in improving this nation’s health care system.

“This is a historic moment in our nation’s history. We applaud Congress for passing the Reconciliation Act, which increases federal subsidies to help low- and moderately-income families without employer-sponsored insurance purchase coverage, closes the Medicare Part D ‘doughnut hole,’ increases Medicaid funding for states and sets aside $11 billion for community health centers over the next five years,” said Kathy Lim Ko, president and chief executive officer of APIAHF.

The legislation represents critical investments in improving the nation’s health care system, however the Reconciliation Act’s passage does not mark the completion of the health care reform that Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders critically need.

“APIAHF is pleased with the significant gains to improving health care access and coverage for millions, and looks forward to the work ahead to ensure complete health care reform for our communities. We need additional health policy changes, such as the elimination of the five-year waiting period for newly arriving legal immigrants and the removal of unfair prohibitions on undocumented immigrants from purchasing health insurance through the Exchanges at full price,” said Deeana Jang, policy director of APIAHF. “We also cannot forget that while the Reconciliation Act improves funding for those in the U.S. Territories, that funding does not achieve parity for the Territories when compared to the funding states receive.”

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.