Online Program

Impact of the affordable care act and comprehensive immigration reform on community health centers

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 11:02 a.m. - 11:17 a.m.

Jeffrey Caballero, MPH, Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations, Oakland, CA
The passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010 promised to increase health insurance coverage, improve patient care outcomes, and control health care spending. For community health centers, several ACA provisions promised to increase capacity and double the number of vulnerable patients served. Now, with with the promise of comprehensive immigration reform (CIR), the nation has an opportunity to improve public health, increase access to preventive care, and strengthen the social safety net, by allowing every resident to immediately receive the benefits of the ACA.

Could this be a perfect storm/confluence of events/policies? Or the straw that breaks the camel's back?

Implementation of the ACA under the current national political and budgetary climate, has become very complicated. In 2013/14, ACA implementation at the state level, in conjunction with the proposed U.S. Senate immigration reform bill, could increase the risk of health disparities for vulnerable populations served in community health centers.

So while the proposed CIR bill is a step in the right direction, legislators have been urged to reverse the reduction of family visa categories, and include measures that expand access to health care coverage to immigrants.

This presentation will describe the promise of the ACA. It will also explain how ACA and CIR implementation could exacerbate disparities by creating a 2-tiered system of health care access. It will also describe how community health center (CHC) patient demographics could change, and what CHCs are doing to respond to these challenges.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Identify at least 2-3 ACA provisions supportive of increasing community health centers capacity and the doubling of the number of patients served; Describe how ACA implementation and CIR is instead challenging community health center sustainability and changing the patient demographics served; List at least 2-3 community health center strategies responding to ACA implementation and CIR threats.

Keyword(s): Access to Health Care, Asian and Pacific Islander

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the Executive Director of the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) since 1998. AAPCHO is a national association of 33 community health organizations of which 23 are community health centers. As Executive Director, I am principally responsible for implementation of the organizational mission to promote advocacy, leadership, and collaboration that improves the health status and access of the medically underserved, particularly Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.