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Asian-Americans Express Concern About SCHIP Veto

Armen Hareyan's picture

State Children's Health Insurance Program

Some Asian-American advocates have criticized President Bush's veto of legislation that would have reauthorized and expanded SCHIP, the Pacific Citizen/New America Media reports. The Japanese American Citizens Leaguerecently issued an action alert urging Congress to override the veto,but lawmakers were unsuccessful in gathering enough votes to do so.Floyd Mori, JACL national director, said, "Newer immigrant communitiesand their children, who find it difficult to afford health insurance,as well as the hard working middle class of Asian-Americans, who alsolag in access to health insurance, would see great benefit from SCHIP,"adding, "We in JACL need to avoid the 'I've got mine, you worry aboutyours' mind set."

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In addition, Asian Health Services inOakland, Calif., recently held a town hall meeting where Asians coulddiscuss their concerns about access to care, including the future ofSCHIP.

According to recent U.S. Census Bureaudata, 15.5% of Asian-Americans and about 21.7% of Native Hawaiians andPacific Islanders are uninsured. Other Asian-American subgroups such asKorean-Americans and Vietnamese-Americans also have a large percentageof uninsured. However, because some subgroups have relatively higherincomes and education levels and are labeled as the "Model Minority,"the groups' need for access to health care often is overlooked, the Pacific Citizen/New America Media reports.

Sincethe start of SCHIP in 1997, the rate of uninsured children in theAsian-American community dropped from 18% to 8% in 2004, according to Families USA (Lin, Pacific Citizen/New America Media, 10/24).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view theentire Kaiser WeeklyHealth Disparities Report,search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Weekly HealthDisparities Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of TheHenry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.