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Media Advisory: APALC to Discuss Health Care Reform and Its Effect on the Asian American Community

April 9, 2012

Rachanee Srisavasdi
Communications Director
APALC to Share Details of a New Statewide Initiative Tied to Health Care Reform Law

WHAT: The Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC), a member of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice, will hold a press conference to discuss the need for health care reform and the benefits that Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (NHPI) stand to gain from President Barack Obama’s health reform law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). APALC, a member of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice, also will publicly reveal details of a new statewide health care initiative. *No other information will be released until the media briefing.

WHO: Stewart Kwoh, APALC Executive Director
Doreena Wong, APALC Health Access Project Director

WHEN: 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 10, 2012
*Reporters also can call into the press conference at 626-677-3000;
the passcode is 3556262

WHERE: Asian Pacific American Legal Center
1145 Wilshire Ave, First Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90017

WHY: APALC supports the new health care reform law, which is currently under scrutiny by the U.S. Supreme Court. Asian Americans suffer from health disparities such as disproportionately high rates of cancer (which is the leading cause of death in our community), heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Compounding these health disparities are barriers due to immigration status and the lack of culturally and linguistically appropriate health care for our community.

The Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC), a member of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice, is the nation’s largest Asian American legal and civil rights organization and serves more than 15,000 individuals and organizations every year. Founded in 1983, APALC advocates for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders and to create a more equitable and harmonious society. Through direct legal services, impact litigation, policy analysis and advocacy, leadership development and capacity building, APALC seeks to serve the most vulnerable members of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (NHPI) communities while also building a strong Asian American and NHPI voice for civil rights and social justice.

Justices Meet Friday to Vote on Health Care Case

While the rest of us have to wait until June, the justices of the Supreme Court will know the likely outcome of the historic health care case by the time they go home this weekend.

After months of anticipation, thousands of pages of briefs and more than six hours of arguments, the justices will vote on the fate of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul in under an hour Friday morning. They will meet in a wood-paneled conference room on the court’s main floor. No one else will be present.
In the weeks after this meeting, individual votes can change. Even who wins can change, as the justices read each other’s draft opinions and dissents.

But Friday’s vote, which each justice probably will record and many will keep for posterity, will be followed soon after by the assignment of a single justice to write a majority opinion, or in a case this complex, perhaps two or more justices to tackle different issues. That’s where the hard work begins, with the clock ticking toward the end of the court’s work in early summer. Read More…

How Health Care Law Affects Lives of 7 Americans

A father lost his job at a medical device company that is facing a new tax. A young woman got back on her parents’ insurance and was able to get surgery for an injury that could have hobbled her. A part-time sales woman stopped putting off a colonoscopy and cancer screenings and saved nearly $3,000 because health plans now must pay for preventive care without co-pays. A business owner received a tax rebate for providing health coverage to her employees.

As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments on President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, The Associated Press spoke with a variety of people to hear their experiences so far with the landmark legislation, whose major provisions don’t take effect until 2014. Reporters asked: How has the health care law affected your life?

Here are snapshots of seven Americans: Read more…

Gender Gap Persists in Cost of Health Insurance

WASHINGTON — Women still pay more than men for the same health insurance coverage, according to new research and data from online brokers.The new health care law will prohibit such “gender rating,” starting in 2014. But gaps persist in most states, with no evidence that insurers have taken steps to reduce them.

For a popular Blue Cross Blue Shield plan in Chicago, a 30-year-old woman pays $375 a month, which is 31 percent more than what a man of the same age pays for the same coverage, according to, a leading online source of health insurance.

In a report to be issued this week, the National Women’s Law Center, a research and advocacy group, says that in states that have not banned gender rating, more than 90 percent of the best-selling health plans charge women more than men. Read more…

Affordable Insurance Exchanges: Choices, Competition and Clout for States

On March 12, 2012, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a final rule on Affordable Health Insurance Exchanges, which combines policies from two Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRMs) published last summer. One rule, published on July 15, 2011, outlined a proposed framework to enable states to build Affordable Insurance Exchanges (Exchanges), which are new state-based competitive marketplaces created under the Affordable Care Act. A second NPRM, published on August 17, 2011, outlined proposed standards for eligibility for enrollment in qualified health plans through the Exchange and insurance affordability programs, including premium tax credits.

Starting in 2014, one-stop marketplaces called Exchanges will be operational, enabling consumers and small businesses to choose a quality, affordable private health insurance plan that fits their health needs. Exchanges will offer health insurance options that meet consumer-friendly standards; facilitate consumer assistance, shopping for and enrollment in a private health insurance plan; and coordinate eligibility for premium tax credits and other affordability programs that ensure health insurance is affordable for all Americans. Through Exchanges, the public will have the same kinds of insurance choices as members of Congress.Read more…