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OCA CELEBRATES SIGNING OF SCHIP BILL BY PRESIDENT OBAMA
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OCA CELEBRATES SIGNING OF SCHIP BILL BY PRESIDENT OBAMA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
4 February 2009

CONTACT
Sarah Smith | Communications Manager
202 223 5500 | ssmith@ocanational.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. — OCA, a national organization dedicated to advancing the social, political and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans, is pleased to join President Barack Obama in the White House today as he signed the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) Bill.

"OCA applauds President Obama and Congress for taking this step to provide proper health care to some of the most vulnerable in our American society,” said Ken Lee, OCA National President. "This is wonderful for the Asian Pacific American community, which includes a high percentage of legal immigrants who do not have access to health insurance.”

SCHIP provides federal matching funds to states in order to provide health insurance for families that do not qualify for Medicaid but do not make enough to afford private insurance.  The bill Congress sent to President Obama to sign into law also includes the Immigrant Children's Health Improvement Act (ICHIA), which extends coverage to low-income lawful residing pregnant women and immigrant children without a five-year waiting period. "

Health care is too often an unaffordable human need for ALL Americans," said OCA Executive Director George Wu, who attended the signing ceremony at the White House. "This is the first step toward health care reform in the United States and OCA looks forward to working with the Obama Administration and Congress to ensure that the needs of the Asian Pacific American community are included in any future laws or policies."

Asian Pacific American children go without health insurance at a higher rate than their white counterparts and the availability of SCHIP coverage helped reduce the percentage of children without insurance from 18 percent to eight percent in 2004.15.5 percent of Asian Americans and about 21.7 percent of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are uninsured according to the US Census.
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