CAPAC Applauds HHS Final Rule to Improve Data Collection

Oct 31, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Judy Chu, Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) and Congresswoman Barbara Lee, CAPAC Health Care Taskforce Chair, released the following statements in response to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announcement of its final data collection and reporting standards on race, ethnicity, primary language, sex, and disability status. 

“I commend the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for implementing a critical provision of the Affordable Care Act that will allow us to better identify the health needs of specific ethnic groups within the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community,” said CAPAC Chair Congresswoman Judy Chu. “The AAPI community is made up of 48 different ethnicities that speak over 300 different languages, but for far too long, the unique health needs of specific groups within our community have been masked by aggregate data.”

“CAPAC has been at the forefront of pushing for greater data disaggregation and today’s HHS announcement is an encouraging step forward in addressing the health care challenges faced by our community and other underserved populations,” continued Congresswoman Chu. “On a federal level, HHS is leading the way on AAPI data collection and is a true partner of CAPAC’s work on dispelling the health myths surrounding our community.”

CAPAC Health Care Task Force Chair Congresswoman Barbara Lee said, “Today’s announcement to finalize regulations on data collection is a critical step in identifying disparities in health status and an important tool in improving our ability to eliminate these inequalities in minority communities. I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress, and the administration, to carry this important work forward.”

The final standards, effective upon publication today, help to identify health differences that often exist both between and within ethnic groups by requiring HHS to apply these data collection standards to all new and revised HHS-sponsored health surveys.

The final standards add seven Asian subgroups (Chinese, Filipino, Asian Indian, Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean and other Asian) and four Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander subgroups (Native Hawaiian, Guamanian or Chamorro, Samoan and other Pacific Islander). These are the same ethnic subgroup categories that are already being used for the Decennial Census and American Community Survey.


The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) is comprised of Members of Congress of Asian and Pacific Islander descent and members who have a strong dedication to promoting the well-being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Currently Chaired by Congresswoman Judy Chu, CAPAC has been addressing the needs of the AAPI community in all areas of American life since it was founded in 1994.