Asian-Americans Express Concern About SCHIP Veto, Program’s Future
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 League recently 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 communities and their children, who find it difficult to afford health insurance, as well as the hard working middle class of Asian-Americans, who also lag 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 about yours' mind set."
In addition, Asian Health Services in Oakland, Calif., recently held a town hall meeting where Asians could discuss their concerns about access to care, including the future of SCHIP.
According to recent U.S. Census Bureau data, 15.5% of Asian-Americans and about 21.7% of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are uninsured. Other Asian-American subgroups such as Korean-Americans and Vietnamese-Americans also have a large percentage of uninsured. However, because some subgroups have relatively higher incomes 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.
Since the start of SCHIP in 1997, the rate of uninsured children in the Asian-American community dropped from 18% to 8% in 2004, according to Families USA (Lin, Pacific Citizen/New America Media, 10/24).