Mahalo nui to Priscilla Huang of APIAHF for the following report-on the briefing, along with a copy of the handouts distributed.
The video recording linked below is also available on our Background: The PRWORA Problem page.
On July 18, 2013 the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) along with Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa and the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) hosted a briefing on Capitol Hill entitled Health Equity: Access to Care for Compact of Free Association (COFA) Migrants from the Freely Associated States; the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau. The briefing featured the following panelists: Dr. Neal Palafox, Professor, University of Hawai’i; Kathy Ko Chin, CEO/President of APIAHF; and Kathy Grisham, Executive Director of St. Francis House Community Clinic in Springdale, Arkansas.
Each speaker provided a unique perspective on the health and health care needs of COFA Migrants. Congresswoman Hanabusa presented opening remarks about the importance of health care access for COFA Migrants from both a fiscal and moral perspective. Dr. Neal Palafox provided an overview of the U.S. relationship with the Pacific, the Compact between the FAS and the United States, the impact of COFA migrants on the Pacific jurisdictions, and expressed the need for an equitable solution to fulfill the U.S. obligation in the Pacific. Kathy Ko Chin spoke about the legislative history of COFA eligibility for Medicaid, the policy impact of current Medicaid legislation on COFA Migrants, and the possible impact the Affordable Care Act will have on this community. Kathy Grisham highlighted her experience as a health care provider in a large Marshallese Community in Springdale, Arkansas and the challenges she has witnessed in the COFA Migrant community in gaining access to care.
Attendees included staff from various Congressional offices, the Department of the Interior, the Government Accountability Office, Department of Health and Human Services, Marshallese Embassy, and Micronesian Embassy. The congressional briefing was generously supported by funds from APIAHF and AAPCHO. The materials in the briefing packets included documents from Rep. Hanabusa’s office, APIAHF, St. Francis Clinic, Dr. Palafox, and HealthyPacific.org.
Below are links to the briefing packet contents and briefing recording.