January 20, 2014

WASHINGTON—The National Collaborative, a coalition of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) national and community organizations and Federally Qualified Health Centers, pauses to remember the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King was not only a pivotal figure in the civil rights movement, but also a champion for health equity.

More than two million AAs and NHPIs lack health insurance because of cost, language and cultural barriers and other reasons. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), many can now gain coverage for the first time.

“That’s why we formed the National Collaborative, to educate, inform and encourage AAs and NHPIs to enroll in health coverage” said Jeff Caballero, executive director of Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations.

The National Collaborative was created and is working to break down barriers to health coverage as the ACA is implemented. We are also collectively engaging with health centers and community-based organizations nationally to educate and enroll AAs and NHPIs in 21 states. The National Collaborative plans to reach more than 250,000 people during this first open-enrollment period.

Kathy Ko Chin, president and CEO of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum said: “Our volunteers and staff across the country are helping AAs and NHPIs enroll in health coverage, in many cases for the first time in their lives. We do this because we believe access to health care is a right, and no one should be excluded because they speak a different language.”

Mee Moua, executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC, added: “Following in the legacy of Dr. King, we are paving the way to greater health equity and working toward a more equitable and just society.”

The National Collaborative is a coalition of more than 70 local Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) national and community-based organizations and Federally Qualified Health Centers dedicated to educating, empowering and enrolling AAs and NHPIs in health coverage. The National Collaborative’s partner organizations are active in the following 21 states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah and Washington. For more information and health reform resources in English, Asian and Pacific Islander languages, visit www.apiahf.org. Visit www.healthcare.gov for more information about the Marketplace and how to enroll.