CAPAC Members and Secretary Becerra Discuss Health Disparities and Other AAPI Healthcare Priorities

Nov 3, 2021 Issues: Healthcare

Washington, D.C. — Today, members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) met with Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra. Following the meeting, CAPAC Chair Rep. Judy Chu issued the following statement:

“Secretary Becerra has long been a powerful advocate for communities of color, which is why we in CAPAC are thrilled to have the opportunity to continue this important work together. I am so grateful to Secretary Becerra for meeting with us today and hearing our top concerns about healthcare as it impacts the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. AAPIs are 80% more likely to be obese, 30% more likely to have asthma, and 2.5 times more likely to have diabetes, so naturally, health inequality was a top priority in our conversation, especially the urgent need for disaggregated health data in order to identify these inequalities. Additionally, we discussed solutions to close these gaps by improving on access to healthcare for all, including through language access. These inequalities have also been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw AAPIs more likely to serve in frontline jobs, leading to some of the highest infection and mortality rates in the country and so we also appreciated Secretary Becerra’s commitment to working with us on the COVID-19 crisis. Finally, as someone who has a strong understanding of the needs of our communities, we deeply appreciate Secretary Becerra’s unwavering support as the co-chair of  the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, led by Krystal Ka’ai and housed within HHS. We look forward to continuing our work together to improve health outcomes for AAPIs, close inequality gaps, and improve quality of care for all.”