My name is Sheldon Riklon and I’m a Marshallese doctor that serves my community in Arkansas. On behalf of Micronesian, Marshallese and Palauan community leaders from across the country, and in partnership with the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF), I’m excited to engage with you on a historic bill to expand health care access.
In 1996, citizens from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesian, and the Republic of Palau, who live and work in the United States under the Compacts of Free Association (COFA), were mistakenly stripped of Medicaid coverage through the welfare reform act. Medicaid access for COFA communities is critically important, because U.S. military presence in COFA nations has had adverse effects on our communities’ health, resulting in high rates of cancer, diabetes, and other health complications.
Earlier this fall, the House introduced bipartisan legislation that would restore access to Medicaid for COFA citizens, building on a Senate bill introduced earlier this year. We need to act on this momentum.
Please join me in signing-on your organization’s name to this letter and let Congress know that you support the COFA Act and COFA citizens’ access to health care.
Deadline to sign-on is Thursday, November 14th 5pm PST.
Thank you for advocating for our communities, and for continuing to fight for health care access for all.
Dr. Sheldon Riklon