Healthcare is a right, not a privilege, and government policies that expand access, lower costs, and achieve better health outcomes are in the interest of Chinese Americans. Chinese Americans value good health, financial independence, and mobility – all of which depend on policies that improve our healthcare system.
Nearly 13% of Chinese Americans lack health insurance. In absolute numbers, this represents over half a million people. With statistics showing that the leading causes of death among Chinese Americans include cancer and suicide, it is crucial that increased enrollment in health insurance remain a priority. Healthcare access can help cancer patients survive through early detection, as well as provide the long-term treatments necessary for a full recovery. For those suffering from mental illness, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides hope through expanded mental health services. With barriers to healthcare access being a central factor for why a significant number of Chinese Americans remain uninsured, it is vitally important that enrollment efforts targeting group be strengthened.
Sadly, the Trump administration has made repeated attempts to eliminate the ACA and diminish its benefits. For example, the Department of Health and Human Services dramatically slashed funding that previously supported enrollment and advertising activities for the ACA, including community-based efforts.These decisions hurt the ability of Chinese Americans to obtain health insurance.
Politically, nearly 60% of Chinese American registered voters support the ACA, compared to 45% of all registered voters. This comes as no surprise considering the ACA reduced the number of uninsured by half among Chinese Americans. This reduction was made possible by the ACA’s support in purchasing private insurance, as well as an expansion in Medicaid eligibility. A significant number of Chinese Americans, 27%, rely on public health insurance programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.
We support healthcare policies that: provide public funding to support expanded health care coverage, including through state-level individual mandates, the preservation of Medicare, and Medicaid expansion
- AARP, The Health and Healthcare of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Age 50+
- US Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Minority Health, Profile: Asian Americans
- Asian & Pacific Islander Health Forum, Chinese Americans and Cancer Health Brief
- Karthick Ramakrishnan, Janelle Wong, Taeku Lee & Jennifer Lee, Asian American Voices in the 2016 Election