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Health Equity Forum: Ethnic Partner Article – December 2016

APIAHF: Thirty Years of Progress in Health Care Will Not Be Undone By the Election

By Kelsey Crow, Communications Consultant for APIAHF

In light of the presidential election, health advocates are preparing to once again defend the Affordable Care Act from attacks and repeal. Kathy Ko Chin, president and CEO of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF), and policy analyst Ben D’Avanzo, published a piece in the Huffington Post detailing the potential effects of repeal on the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) communities. The Asian American population in the U.S. is comparatively young, with 37 percent under the age of 26. They risk losing health insurance if repeal of the ACA includes ending the provision that allows young people to stay on their parents’ plan up to age 26. Furthermore, the NHPI population is even younger at almost half under the age of 26. Combined, over 2.2 million AAs and NHPIs are at risk of losing their coverage if the President-elect and Congress choose to repeal this part of the ACA. “We will re-commit to organizing our communities and our allies to continue to defend the ACA,” Kathy and Ben write.

The theme of organizing was echoed during APIAHF’s 30th anniversary celebration in early December. In her remarks, Kathy noted the crucial timing for health organizations across the country to combine efforts on municipal, state, and federal levels to defend the ACA. She said, “We were built to be the clear, strong consumer voice in the nation’s capital for the health of our communities. We were built to mobilize our communities to speak with one voice.”