PRESS RELEASE

AAPCHO Applauds Passage of CHIP Reauthorization Bill 2009

February 4, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

[Archive] Stacy Lavilla
Director of Communications
(510) 272-9536 x110
slavilla@aapcho.org

Oakland, CA – February 4, 2009- The Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) and its member community health centers applaud President Barack Obama and members of the 111th Congress for reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). President Obama signed the bill this afternoon.

Jeffrey Caballero, executive director of AAPCHO, was present at today’s bill signing and called the new legislation reassuring for many individuals at risk of losing medical coverage during the country’s economic crisis. Caballero added that advocates throughout the country are celebrating the restoration of public coverage for millions of legal immigrant children.

“For the past 13 years, AAPCHO, its member centers and partners, have worked diligently to help restore the health benefits of those who are disenfranchised and without health care,” Caballero said. “We laud Congress and President Obama for ensuring that millions of children and families can have access to the quality health care services they so rightly deserve.”

The new law, which allows states to provide health insurance to low-income children, reverses prior legislation that severely curtailed health benefits and health access for legal immigrant communities. Critically, the bill allows states to cover children and pregnant women who are legal immigrants, thereby reversing previous legislation that required these groups to wait 5 years for health care coverage.

In addition, Caballero added that the provision that enables FQHCs to receive a Prospective Payment System (PPS) for CHIP similar to Medicaid is significant to community health centers, as it provides enhanced reimbursement for the unique and effective services they provide. “This provision is critical to community health centers that have seen their uninsured and underinsured patient base grow because of the current economy,” Caballero said. “Extending this lifeline will not only allow clinics to serve more patients, but it will allow them to continue providing effective services that are considerate of both a patient’s culture and language.”

The Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) is a national association of twenty-five community-based organizations serving Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders (AA & NHOPI) in the U.S, its territories and freely associated states. For more information on AAPCHO and its Guiding Principles and Values, please visit http://www.aapcho.org

Media Relations

Beverly Quintana
(510) 272-9536 x112
bquintana@aapcho.org

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