One more update!
Much content has been added to this website, due to the flurry of new attention that is now being paid to the Compacts of Free Association, and the issues that our COFA resident taxpayers face in exercising their right to seek opportunity and, for some, life-saving healthcare in the United States.
Infographics, Interviews and Newsletters
First, mahalo nui to the staff at the Hawai'i Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice, for producing the easy-to-understand infographic (pictured, left) to clear up common misunderstandings prevalent about COFA migrants in the U.S. Many may not know that COFA citizens must pay ALL federal, state, and county taxes and service fees, but are not eligible for most federal safety net programs -- the same programs that their taxes fund! The infographic can also be seen on our Resources: The PRWORA Problem page.
This infographic was inspired in part by a recent act of vandalism of the newly-opened Micronesia Mart. To read more about this incident, and the response of Micronesia Mart's owner, see this Fourth Branch Interview with Ceasar Hadley, which is included in our Resources: Background page.
In addition to the one-pager, mahalo nui to the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon, the Micronesian Islander Community, the Oregon Marshallese Community, and the COFA Community Advocacy Network for their initiative in producing a short but clear newsletter entitled "Life, Liberty and Justice for All." The 2-page newsletter details the numerous historic and ongoing contributions of the COFA nations and people, and the need to restore equal access to Medicaid for those that may need it. View it and/or download it on our FAQ/Talking Points page.
This newsletter, along with the infographic, was shared at an informational briefing held in Washington, D.C., by Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa, the Asian Pacific Islander American Health Forum, and the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations.
New Book Releases
Two recent publications regarding the history and culture of our COFA allies in the Pacific have been released. The first, Giff Johnson's "Don't Ever Whisper: Darlene Keju: Pacific Health Pioner, Champion for Nuclear Survivors" provides a biographical account of Darlene Keju, an outspoken, U.S.-educated Marshallese woman who made waves advocating internationally on behalf of nuclear testing survivors. See Ms. Keju make her historic speech to the World Council of Churches in Vancouver, Canada on our Resources: Background page, along with a reprint of her 1982 report regarding the Marshallese struggle for justice at Kwajalein Atoll (then, as in now, a military weapons testing site for the United States).
More recently, Father Francis X. Hezel, author of the survey ("Micronesians on the Move: Eastward and Upward Bound") also found on our Resources: Background page, has released a new book entitled "Making Sense of Micronesia: The Logic of Pacific Island Culture," a discussion of Micronesia's vast and complex cultural terrain. Father Hezel, a Jesuit priest, has resided in Micronesia for fifty years.
A Civil Beat interview with Father Hezel, as well as coverage of his book, can be found on our Resources: Background page.
A Center for Pacific Island Studies/East-West Center panel discussion with Father Hezel can also be viewed on our Resources: Background page.
Things are heating up for seekers of health justice in the Pacific! Please don't forget to sign our petition and stay tuned for more updates as our Congressional measures move forward. In the meantime, please see our new Additional Resources at the bottom of our Resources: Background page.
Mahalo piha a me mālama pono,
The HealthyPacific.Org Team
Thank you very much to our friends at the AAPCHO, APIAHF, and Representative Colleen Hanabusa's office for setting up this important informational briefing on health access for COFA migrants in the U.S.
Supporters of Health Justice:
Please take a moment to contact your Washington, D.C. contacts and/or any of the Subcommittee on Health Representatives listed here and ask them to attend Representative Hanabusa's Informational briefing on Medicaid for COFA Migrants this Thursday, July 18, 2013 from 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. at 2456 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C. Your one call could make a real difference! Please click on the flier to the left for more details.
For more information on the House bill, H.R.912, introduced by Representative Hanabusa, please see our blog post here. For more information on the problem that this bill and Senator Hirono's similar Medicaid provision in the Senate Immigration Reform Bill S.744, please see our Background: The PRWORA Problem page.
Healthy Pacific is an ad hoc group of advocates and allies committed to health justice for the People of the Ocean and the world.