CAPAC Members Celebrate National Minority Health Month

Apr 1, 2011

(Washington, D.C.) –Today, Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) released the following statements honoring April as National Minority Health Month.

Congresswoman Judy Chu, CAPAC Chairwoman:

“For far too long, the health challenges of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have gone unnoticed, and the deadly consequences of this have been deeply felt by the community. By celebrating National Minority Health Month in April, we highlight the large health disparities facing minority communities to ensure that they are properly recognized and addressed. Closing these glaring health gaps is a top priority of mine, of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus – and it must be a top priority of the United States Congress.”

Congresswoman Barbara Lee, CAPAC Healthcare Taskforce Chair:

“As we begin National Minority Health Month, we should continue to be mindful of the challenges that exist for providing affordable, accessible health care to our minority communities, in particular the AAPI community. We made a lot of progress on increasing access to health care for the APPI community with the passage of the Affordable Care Act last year which dramatically expanded healthcare coverage for AAPI’s, extended protection for their children until age 26 and stopped the terrible practice of denying coverage to children who are sick.  But there is much more work ahead of us as some of our AAPI communities continue to have some of the lowest rates of health coverage of any community in our nation and still lack fully culturally competent and linguistically appropriate care .  As chair of the CAPAC Health Care Task Force, it remains my top priority to ensure that our AAPI communities are able to access quality, affordable health care.”

Congresswoman Doris Matsui, CAPAC Executive Board Member:

“Minority Health Awareness Month reminds us about the challenges that minority communities face in accessing the high-quality, affordable health care all Americans need and deserve. Already, the Affordable Care Act is helping to reduce these barriers by investing in community health centers, Medicaid, and free preventive services. I will continue to fight to ensure that the health disparities that have been present in our country for generations finally become a thing of the past.”


Over half of all Americans sufferings from chronic hepatitis B infection are of Asian and Pacific Islander descent.

Deaths from breast cancer are four times higher among some Asian-born women compared to their U.S.-born counterparts.

Cervical cancer incidence rates are among the highest in the U.S. for Laotian American, Samoan, Vietnamese American and Cambodian American women.

In Hawaii, Asians, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders ages 20 years or older are more than two times as likely to have diagnosed diabetes as white residents of similar age.

Cancer is the leading cause of death for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Native Hawaiians have the highest rate of deaths due to cancer compared to any other ethnic group in Hawaii and the third highest rate in the country.

While the total number of reported AIDS cases has generally declined over the past five years for the white population, it has continued to increase for Asian Americans.


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.