Washington, DC (March 22, 2010) – The Organization of Chinese Americans, a national Asian Pacific American social justice organization with over 80 chapters and affiliates, is pleased with last night’s passage of health care reform legislation by the United States House of Representatives.Over 30 million Americans, including many APAs, will have for access to affordable health care for the first time and all Americans will benefit from changes to the health care system.
“OCA applauds Congress for taking this historic leap toward providing quality and affordable health care to all Americans,” said Ken Lee, OCA National President. “This is wonderful for the Asian Pacific American community, which includes a high percentage of families, individuals and entrepreneurs who currently have no meaningful access to health insurance.”
Once signed into law, the bill will extend health insurance coverage to as many as 32 million currently uninsured Americans. The legislation includes expanded support for community health centers, which is crucial for preventive and low-cost care. With disproportionately high rates of Hepatitis B and liver cancer in the APA community, these vital changes are a step towards closing the gap in health disparities for minority populations.
“OCA looks forward to the signing of the Health Care bill by President Barack Obama tomorrow and the continued national conversation on how to build healthy communities,” said OCA Executive Director George Wu. “OCA strongly believes additional improvements to the American health care system will be needed, especially lifting the five-year bar on access to Medicaid for legal permanent residents.”
Founded in 1973 and headquartered in Washington, DC, OCA’s mission is to advance the social, political and economic well-being of APAs. In addition to engaging local communities on health care reform, OCA has worked closely with the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, the National Coalition on Health Care, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.
Through support from the Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum, OCA chapters led dialogues around the country on health access and disparities with community members and congressional leaders.