WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 4, 2013) — With a comprehensive immigration overhaul package expected to be unveiled as early as next week when the Senate returns from spring recess, leaders from the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF)—the nation’s premier health advocacy organization for Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and Native Hawaiians—continue to urge the “gang of eight” to allow immigrants the same access to affordable health insurance and health care as all Americans in any immigration legislation.
Allowing immigrants to buy health insurance through the marketplaces created under the Affordable Care Act would help stabilize our weakened economy. Across the country, people who cannot afford health insurance generally have difficulty accessing preventative care services and are forced to make difficult decisions, sacrificing their health and welfare. The uninsured tax the entire nation in terms of their poor health—which becomes more expensive to improve the longer they forego preventative care—and in overall cost to our economy—both in terms of paying for expensive care and earnings/productivity lost to illness.
As part of a nationwide campaign, APIAHF is calling on politicians to fully reform our broken immigration system by taking a stand for immigrants’—and all Americans’—health care needs. APIAHF is committed to protecting and strengthening our health care and economic infrastructure for all, and this requires access to affordable health care and insurance for all persons, regardless of immigration status.
APIAHF leaders are available for interviews. For breaking news requests or to schedule interviews, please contact Leonie Williams at (443) 803-1465 or [email protected] or Paulo Pontemayor at (202) 706-6777 or [email protected] More information on APIAHF is available at apiahf.org.
Kathy Ko Chin is president and CEO of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF). She has spent her 30-year career in the health arena advocating for equity for all communities, and has seen firsthand the devastation that occurs when individuals and families do not have access to affordable, quality health care. Under her leadership, APIAHF has banded with hundreds of civil rights, health, labor and religious groups to urge Congress to not leave out the health care needs of immigrants in immigration reform.
As the policy director at APIAHF, Priscilla Huang, a nationally recognized leader on immigrant rights, reproductive health and anti-human trafficking, directs the organization’s policy work on expanding access to health care and coverage; improving the quality of care; increasing data on Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander health; and increasing investments in community-driven health strategies. She also leads the organization’s national network of community-based organizations and health justice advocates.
The Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum influences policy, mobilizes communities and strengthens programs and organizations to improve the health of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. Learn more at http://www.apiahf.org/ <http://org2.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?key=-1&url_num=7&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.apiahf.org%2F>