WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better Act, which will have a transformative impact on the nation’s social safety net. By expanding Medicaid and lowering the costs of healthcare coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges, the provisions in the Build Back Better Act will expand access to healthcare for Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AA NH/PI) communities. The bill must now be passed by the Senate to be enacted into law.

Juliet K. Choi, president and CEO of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) issued the following statement:

“This is a once in a lifetime investment towards realizing health equity for so many of our families and loved ones. Build Back Better would decrease the number of uninsured AA NH/PI individuals by reducing the cost of coverage on the ACA exchanges, and it would expand Medicare hearing coverage for more than 2.3 million AA NH/PI people on Medicare. Additionally, this legislation will address the Medicaid coverage gap for AA NH/PI populations living in states that have not expanded eligibility under the ACA as well as expand Medicaid coverage for home care services for seniors and people with disabilities.

“As the Senate considers the legislation, APIAHF calls attention to the absence of immigration provisions in the House bill. The House version of the bill includes a five-year parole period that provides limited protection for some immigrants, but it is a temporary program that falls short of meaningful, longstanding immigration reform. APIAHF urges the Senate to amend Build Back Better to include immigration provisions that will provide a pathway for citizenship for DACA recipients, TPS holders and essential workers.”

# # #

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.