AAPCHO Applauds Senate Introduction of the HEAL for Immigrant Women and Families Act
May 20, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, May 20, 2020 — The Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) today released the following statement applauding the Senate introduction of the Health Equity and Access Under the Law (HEAL) for Immigrant Women and Families Act. The legislation was introduced by Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and has been endorsed by over 250 national, state, and local organizations. If passed, the bill would expand access to health care in the United States regardless of immigration status, including many underserved Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.
“The HEAL Act enables every person in the United States the ability to obtain comprehensive health care coverage regardless of their immigration status. This bold legislation will make communities safer and healthier,” said Adam Carbullido, director of policy and advocacy at AAPCHO. “The COVID-19 pandemic sheds a light on the major inadequacies of our health care system. Millions of our neighbors—many of whom are low-income Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders—are unable to get health care coverage for themselves and their families. We applaud Senator Booker for his leadership in introducing this bill in the Senate. Together with the House companion legislation introduced by Congresswomen Jayapal and Haaland, the HEAL Act demonstrates that health care is a right for everyone who has made the United States their home.”
The HEAL Act corrects long-standing health access inequities faced by immigrants in the United States; specifically, the bill would remove the five-year bar that immigrants must wait out before becoming eligible for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). It would enable undocumented immigrants to purchase health insurance plans from the online Marketplace made available by the Affordable Care Act. Further, it would restore Medicaid eligibility for Pacific Islanders living in the United States under the Compacts of Free Association (COFA).
For more information on the HEAL Act, visit AAPCHO’s partner organization, the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum website at: www.napawf.org/heal.
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Kristine Cecile Alarcon