National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) Supports Children’s Health Insurance Program and Community Health Centers
Last week, Congress passed and the President signed into law H.R. 2, the Sustainable Growth Rate legislation. H.R. 2 is important in ensuring the health and welfare of many vulnerable populations in the Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities. This legislation is important in providing stability for Medicare and Medicaid patients and providers, essential funding for Community Health Centers (CHCs) and critical funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
The health committee of the National Council for Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) is heartened that these investments in CHIP and CHCs will do much to meet the unique health care needs of our AANHPI communities. At the same time, we are disappointed by the inclusion of restrictive language on women’s health services and will remain vigilant should this legislation set a precedent that could harm AANHPI women’s health needs.
NCAPA recognizes that CHCs are vital to our AANHPI communities, providing ongoing care for chronic disease, preventive care and safety-net concerns. CHCs provide cost-effective and community-tested services and interventions to best serve the complex needs of our communities.
NCAPA is also invested in CHIP, which along with Medicaid covers 25 percent of all AAPI children. This extension of CHIP means low- and moderate- income AANHPI children and pregnant women can continue to get necessary health care services.
"Community Health Centers provide a health safety net for low-resource communities across the country.
For AANHPI communities, CHCs provide culturally appropriate, linguistically accessible care that
effectively addresses and prevents health issues. CHCs are community centered and integrally linked to
positive health outcomes in AANHPI communities," said Jeffrey Caballero, executive director of the
Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations. "The passing of H.R. 2 provides a great
step forward in being able to provide quality care for underserved AANHPI communities that need it
“We are pleased that Congress so strongly came together across the aisle to protect children’s health care,” said Kathy Ko Chin, president and CEO of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum. “This bipartisan support is a testament to the importance of CHIP in so many Americans’ lives and the success of the program. We encourage lawmakers to build upon this momentum and fully extend the
program to 2019. CHIP is crucial for millions of children, providing needed resources that they would not otherwise be able to afford.”
However, as we celebrate the passage of H.R. 2, NCAPA is concerned about the inclusion of duplicative Hyde Amendment language, which will continue to limit federal coverage of abortion services to the narrowest of cases, disproportionately affecting low-income women and communities of color. NCAPA is deeply concerned about the implication of this legislative effort on future efforts to restrict access to needed care.
NCAPA congratulates Congress on its bipartisan support and passage of this law. We urge lawmakers to stand strongly and join us in monitoring for future efforts to restrict care.
The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), founded in 1996, is a coalition of 34 national
Asian Pacific American organizations. Based in Washington D.C., NCAPA serves to represent the
interests of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AA & NHPI) communities and to
provide a national voice on policy issues and priorities.