AAPI Weekly Highlights: The Government Shutdown Is Over

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AAPI Highlights, October 21, 2013

Welcome to this edition of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) Highlights. Read about the end of the government shutdown, what’s being done to make HealthCare.gov better, WHIAAPI’s upcoming Vietnamese-language Google+ Hangout on the Health Insurance Marketplace, 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 works at the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, Oct. 18, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama works at the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, Oct. 18, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The Government Shutdown Is Over

Last week, President Obama signed legislation to reopen our government and pay our bills. “Because Democrats and responsible Republicans came together, the first government shutdown in 17 years is now over,” he said today in the State Dining Room. “The first default in more than 200 years will not happen. These twin threats to our economy have been lifted.” There was no economic rationale for all this, President Obama said. “Over the past four years, our economy has been growing, our businesses have been creating jobs, and our deficits have been cut in half,” he said, “but nothing has done more to undermine our economy these past three years than the kind of tactics that create these manufactured crises.” The way business is done in Washington has to change, President Obama said. Read more about President Obama’s remarks on the government shutdown.

Here's What's Being Done to Make HealthCare.gov Better

On October 1, HealthCare.gov opened for business, offering Americans a new way to compare health insurance plans and enroll in coverage. Nearly 20 million people have visited the site, and Americans all over the country are signing up for affordable, high-quality health insurance. But, as President Obama explained today, the web site hasn’t worked as well as it’s supposed to. "The problem has been that the website that’s supposed to make it easy to apply for and purchase the insurance is not working the way it should for everybody. And there’s no sugarcoating it. The website has been too slow, people have been getting stuck during the application process," he said. "And there’s no excuse for the problems, and these problems are getting fixed. Learn more about what’s being done to make HealthCare.gov better.

White House Announces Public Tours

Last week, the White House announced the resumption of East Wing and Executive Residence tours, beginning on November 5th. In addition, gardens and grounds will be opened to visitors on Saturday, October 26th from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM, and Sunday, October 27th from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM for the 2013 Fall White House Garden Tour. The White House will distribute tickets to the public on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 7:30am on Saturday, October 26th and Sunday, October 27th at the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion located at 15th and E Streets. Guests are invited to tour and photograph the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, the Rose Garden and the South Lawn. They’ll also visit the White House Kitchen Garden – the first vegetable garden at the White House since Eleanor Roosevelt’s Victory Garden. Learn more about public Fall Garden Tours and the resumption of public East Wing and Executive Residence tours.

WHIAAPI Announcements

Learn About the Health Insurance Marketplace in Vietnamese

WHIAAPI will be continuing our Google+ Hangout Series on the Health Insurance Marketplace, with the next session to be held in Vietnamese on November 6th at 3pm ET. Dr. Tung Thanh Nguyen of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders wrote about the Vietnamese-language Hangout: Having come to the United States as a refugee from Vietnam and now providing medical care and conducting research on Asian American health, I know that the Vietnamese community faces challenges in accessing quality health care. One in five Vietnamese Americans lacks health insurance coverage. Vietnamese Americans are also among the highest limited English proficient populations in the nation. Over half, or 53 percent, of all Vietnamese Americans report speaking English less than very well. So, access to information on health care in Vietnamese is critical to increasing health insurance coverage and access to health care among Vietnamese Americans. Read more about the upcoming Google+ Hangout in Vietnamese.

Webinar: Hepatitis B and Reducing Perinatal Transmission: An Overview and Discussion of New Tools

Due to the government shutdown, the webinar, "Hepatitis B and Reducing Perinatal Transmission: An Overview and Discussion of New Tools," which was scheduled for Thursday, October 10th, has been postponed. We will share the new webinar date and time as soon as that information becomes available and hope you can join us for that rescheduled session.

Agency Announcements

4 Ways to Apply for Coverage on the Health Insurance Marketplace

It has been three weeks since the start of the new Health Insurance Marketplace, where Americans, regardless of income or health status, can find quality, affordable health coverage. The launch of the Marketplace website, HealthCare.gov, has been rocky but we are working tirelessly to make the online process better. And we are taking other steps to meet the consumer demand for affordable health insurance. Read about the four basic ways to apply for health coverage through the Marketplace.

The 504 Loan Program Explained

Are you looking to expand or modernize your small business? If you’re exploring your financing options, then the Small Business Administration’s 504 Loan Program (or Certified Development Company (CDC) loan) may be for you. Designed especially to help small businesses grow, you can use funds to make purchases for real estate and equipment, just to name a few. Read on for more details to see if this is a good option for you.

Bullying Prevention Awareness Month

To mark Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius released the following statement: October is Bullying Prevention Awareness Month - when individuals, families, schools, and communities across the nation help to raise awareness about bullying prevention. Bullying remains a widespread problem with nearly 30 percent of adolescents in the U.S. reporting some experience with bullying, whether as the victim, the bully or both. An infographic developed by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) highlights important facts and information about bullying prevention. We know that there are a number of emotional effects that can result from bullying such as depression and anxiety. There are also physical effects as well, like headaches and stomachaches, and sleep problems. In a special supplement of the Journal of Adolescent Health supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in collaboration with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) we see how researchers continue to investigate the complex relationship between bullying and suicide. Read the full statement.

Grant Opportunities

NIH: Nutrigenetics and Nutrigenomics Approaches for Nutrition Research

The main objective of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to promote application of nutrigenetics and/or nutrigenomics approaches to nutrition research through collaborative interaction among nutrition researchers and experts in omics technologies. The funding opportunity closes on March 22, 2016. Read more about the funding opportunity.

HHS: AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) Emergency Relief Funds (ERF) Health Resources & Services Administration

This announcement solicits applications for the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part B AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) Emergency Relief Funding (ERF), which enables the Secretary to utilize resources to control epidemics of any disease. Limited New Competing ADAP ERF grant awards are intended for States/Territories that can demonstrate the need for additional resources to prevent, reduce or eliminate waitlists or implement cost-cutting and/or cost-saving measures. Limited new competing ADAP ERF awards will be based on the applicant’s ability to successfully demonstrate need for the additional funding and the success of the State’s past efforts to improve the cost-effectiveness of ADAP operations consistent with HRSA recommendations and policies and to maximize available resources. The closing date for this opportunity is November 25, 2013. Read more about this opportunity.