For Immediate Release
November 9, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or health care reform, as the law is commonly known.

The largely conservative court held that the ACA’s individual mandate, the requirement that nearly all persons have health insurance, is within Congress’ powers. This decision uphold’s President Obama’s health care reforms that were signed into law last year.

“Millions of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders stand to benefit from the Affordable Care Act,” said Kathy Lim Ko, APIAHF president and CEO. “Many Asian Americans, one in six, and one in four Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are uninsured, making it difficult to access basic health care. The ACA will help make care more affordable by creating online marketplaces where consumers can shop for coverage, offering subsidies to lower premium costs, and expanding access to public benefits in the Medicaid program.”

Contrary to the “model minority myth,” Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders experience a number of health and health care related disparities, compared to their white counterparts. Among Asian Americans, three in ten are living with asthma, diabetes, or hypertension. AAs and NHPIs account for over 50 percent of the chronic Hepatitis B cases in the U.S.

“These examples represent just some of the health disparities facing our communities,” said Priscilla Huang, APIAHF policy director. “The ACA represents a historic opportunity to invest and focus on eliminating these racial and ethnic disparities.”

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.