WASHINGTON, D.C. (PRWEB) June 28, 2012
Community Health Centers Serving Asian Pacific Americans Will Continue to Expand Services to Vulnerable Groups
The Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) applauds today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Long standing supporters of the ACA, AAPCHO and its member community health centers (CHCs) consider the overall ruling a significant victory in the effort to ensure meaningful access to quality, affordable, and culturally and linguistically competent health care for all Americans, particularly medically underserved Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders (AA&NHOPI).
"Over the years, community health centers across the country have stepped up to the plate, finding ways to efficiently deliver care to the most vulnerable populations," said Eugene Welch, executive director of South Cove Community Health Center and president of AAPCHO's Board of Directors. "We support today's ruling and will work tirelessly to ensure that our patients receive the health care that they need under the Affordable Care Act.”
By upholding the constitutionality of the ACA, the U. S. Supreme Court reaffirms support for expanding the nationwide network of CHCs to more communities across the country. In the years ahead, millions of newly insured Americans and communities identified as medical shortage areas will gain access to the quality, cost-effective primary and preventive services health centers provide. This expansion in CHC capacity is critical to meeting the rising needs of vulnerable and medically underserved AAN&HOPI patients. With today’s ruling, an estimated 2 million AA&NHOPIs will gain health coverage through new state Health Insurance Exchanges, receive increased protection through non-discrimination provisions, and have increased access to culturally and linguistically appropriate health care services.
While AAPCHO is pleased with the Court’s overall ruling, the organization expressed disappointment in the decision weakening the expansion of the Medicaid program, noting that nationally, an estimated 16 million people would receive health coverage from the program’s expansion, including one in ten Asian Americans and one in eight Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders. Nonetheless, the association and its members are eager to play a critical role in the full implementation of the health care law.
“Our health centers play a major role in creating public awareness and understanding of the law’s benefits, particularly within the diverse and growing Asian Pacific American population,” said Jeffrey Caballero, executive director of AAPCHO. “An insurance card alone will not provide care to those most in need, and we look forward to continuing our work with local and national partners to ensure that our community and other vulnerable populations have true access to the quality, culturally and linguistically appropriate health care they deserve.”
AAPCHO is a national association of 29 community health organizations dedicated to promoting advocacy, collaboration, and leadership that improves the health status and access of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiian, and other Pacific Islanders in the United States. For more information on AAPCHO and its Guiding Principles and Values, please visit http://www.aapcho.org. AAPCHO can also be found on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/aapcho.