When we talk about immigration, we don’t talk enough about the health of our families. As we work to improve the lives of immigrants and their families, we must remove barriers to health care and ensure that everyone receives the care they need. Our country will be stronger when all communities – regardless of immigration status – have access to care and the same opportunity at a healthy future.
While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has expanded health care coverage options for some immigrants, immigration status continues to stand as the major social determinant impacting health and hampering the progress of immigrant communities in unnecessary ways. The report includes the following recommendations to promote public health and economic well-being:
Our team at the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) is excited for the upcoming VOICES conference. It’s our seventh conference bringing together more than 200 community activists, service providers, researchers, and health advocates to mobilize and create meaningful policy impacts for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) communities.
On September 14-15 in Washington, D.C., the VOICES conference will focus on health equity in AA and NHPI communities and tackle one of the greatest questions we face – the future of health and the health care system in our country. While the passage of the Affordable Care Act and its expansions of health insurance coverage have made tremendous differences for families across the country, many in our communities still face barriers to enrollment and are not covered by a health insurance plan. With the next open enrollment period beginning this fall, we are taking the opportunity to focus on improvements in prevention and care delivery to ensure greater access for our communities.
The movement toward health equity for all communities faces many challenges, and we are working to fully equip our leaders with the tools they need to spread the message. During the conference, we will use community organization and coalition building practices and explore opportunities to influence change on state and national levels. Conference participants will share their experiences in working to raise AA and NHPI voices in health advocacy conversations, and in collaboration with other advocates, provide recommendations and narratives to Congressional leaders about the significance of health equity for all.