Welcome to this edition of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) Highlights. Read about what you need to know about the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, new data showing the increase in full-time positions since the Affordable Care Act became law, WHIAAPI’s upcoming forum with the faith-based community in New York City, and more agency announcements.
As a reminder, you can read about our work at www.whitehouse.gov/aapi and you can follow us on Twitter: @WhiteHouseAAPI for the Initiative, @KiranAhujaAAPI for Kiran Ahuja, Executive Director of the Initiative, and @Inouye44 for Shin Inouye, White House Director of Specialty Media.
President Barack Obama talks with Prime Minister Enrico Letta of Italy before a plenary session at Konstantinovsky Palace during the G20 Summit in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Sept. 6, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Fall isn’t just the time when kids go back to school; it also means enrollment under the Affordable Care Act is just around the corner. Starting on October 1, people without health care insurance — including 2 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders — will be able to shop through the new health care marketplace to compares prices and plans and get covered. No one plans to get sick or hurt, but most people need medical care at some point. Health insurance covers these costs and protects you from very high expenses. With open enrollment less than a month away, this is a great opportunity to review some of the key components of the Affordable Care Act and the health care marketplace that are important to know before October 1. Read more about what you need to know about the Health Care Law and the upcoming open enrollment.
New data out last week in the Bureau of Labor Statistics Monthly Employment Report show that of the increase in employment since the Affordable Care Act became law, more than 9 out of 10 positions have been full-time. The Affordable Care Act continues to improve the functioning of labor markets in a range of ways including helping to slow the growth of premiums, creating affordable new options for small businesses, reducing the “job lock” that can keep workers from taking the best job for them, and generally improving health outcomes and reducing absenteeism. We are already seeing tangible changes in affordability, including premium growth at less than one-third the rate of the late 1990s and early 2000s. Businesses owners who are looking to take advantage of tax credits, and other benefits under the law aimed at making coverage more affordable are encouraged to visit Business.USA.gov/healthcare for more information. Read more here.
On September 21st, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders will convene federal officials and faith-based and community leaders in New York City in a day-long forum to share key Administration policies on economic growth, immigration, education, and civil rights. The forum will provide leaders and the broader AAPI community critical information and a better understanding of federal resources and services. Read more about the community forum.
On September 4, Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama, met with AAPI community leaders at the International Community Health Services Clinic in Seattle, WA. The roundtable was hosted at the International Community Health Services (ICHS) International District medical and dental clinic. Participants began with a tour of the facility hosted by Teresita Batayola, CEO of ICHS, and senior members of her staff. The ICHS team highlighted for Jarrett the wonderful work being done from their facility to provide access to high quality and culturally sensitive health care as well as to address the challenges facing many in Seattle’s AAPI community. Read more about Valerie Jarrett’s meeting with AAPI community leaders.
On Monday, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan launched his "Strong Start, Bright Future" back-to-school bus tour throughout the Southwest. The tour kicked off in New Mexico before heading to Texas, Arizona, and California. At stops along the tour, Secretary Duncan will discuss how investments in education are critical to our country's future, and how state and local reforms are delivering encouraging results. The theme of "Strong Start, Bright Future" speaks to the importance of starting the school year off right and providing all our children with high-quality preschool to prepare them ultimately for success in college and careers. Learn more about the bus tour and what communities across the Southwest are doing to improve education outcomes for students.
Those of you who have Veteran friends can help by being there for them. Make time to strengthen those relationships, because some of them might not have the same resources or outlook as you. If that is the case, know them well enough that you can see the warning signs and be strong enough to ask if they are thinking about hurting themselves – and help them find treatment. If you’re a Veteran who’s gone through the difficulty of PTSD, a traumatic brain injury, or just readjusting to normal, everyday American life – be there for one of your Veteran friends. Let them know you understand the challenges and listen, offer advice. That opportunity to share may be what gives your friend the chance to unload some of his or her pain, and give you the opportunity to help them find help. Read more about how you can save a life.
Last week, as part of Secretary Penny Pritzker’s nationwide listening tour, the Secretary toured the United Bicycle Institute in Portland, Oregon. It is the bicycle industry’s leading technical school offering courses in repair, frame building, and mechanic certification for technicians. She also held a roundtable discussion with representatives from the bicycle industry. In 2012, Bicycling magazine rated Portland as the No. 1 cycling city in the U.S. The United Bicycle Institute has established itself as a critical part of the cycling culture in the region. Read more about Secretary Pritzer’s nationwide listening tour.
The purpose of the HCV FSS program is to promote the development of local strategies to coordinate the use of assistance under the HCV program with public and private resources to enable participating families to increase earned income and financial literacy, reduce or eliminate the need for welfare assistance, and make progress toward economic independence and self-sufficiency. Closing date for applications is October 7, 2013. Read more about the opportunity.
The Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program stimulates technological innovation in the private sector by strengthening the role of small business concerns in meeting Federal research and development needs, increasing the commercial application of federally supported research results, and fostering and encouraging participation by socially and economically disadvantaged and women-owned small businesses.The STTR Program requires researchers at universities and other non-profit research institutions to play a significant intellectual role in the conduct of each STTR project. These researchers, by joining forces with a small company, can spin-off their commercially promising ideas while they remain primarily employed at the research institution. Award ceiling is $225,000. Closing date for applications is December 4, 2013. Read more about the opportunity.