Monday, February 18, 2008

Asian Americans and Health Care Reform

Marguerite Ro, deputy director of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum and a former professor of Columbia University Medical Center, shares the concerns of the Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) community on the subject of health care reform in Asian Week:

New data from the Centers for Disease Control reveals that nearly one out of every five AAPIs is uninsured. Almost one out of every six AAPIs does not have a usual place for health care.

[...]Unfortunately, the presidential candidates have yet to assure Asian American and Pacific Islander communities that they understand or even acknowledge the challenges that our communities face in accessing health care.
She goes on to cite numerous community-specific statistics and concerns including the following:
  • Language barrier as a bar to receiving quality health care
  • A stress on improving prevention that notes a 10% incidence of hepatitis B in Asian Americans as opposed to a 0.01% incidence in whites as an example.
  • A need to tailor the delivery of health information to the numerous disparate communities that exist in order to assure that the information gets across.
  • A call for Asian American voters to make their voices heard at the polls.
Once again, we see that the desire for true reform is one that crosses all strata of society, all communities, all ethnicities, and all political boundaries. As we attain the "perfect storm" of reform that George C. Halvorson speaks of in his book, Health Care Reform Now!, we see that, as he puts it, "buyers are ready for a change."

SOURCE: "Health Care Refom: Why It Matters To Us " 02/16/08
photo courtesy of Joka2000

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