Recognition of National Minority Health Month

Floor Speech

By:  Ami Bera
Date: April 25, 2013
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. BERA of California. Mr. Speaker, I have the pleasure of being cochair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus on Healthcare with my colleague from California, Representative Barbara Lee, who happens to be here in the Chamber as well.

I'd like to take this opportunity to recognize National Minority Health Month. Despite medical advances that save many lives in our country, there's been limited progress in ending the racial and ethnic disparities in health.

Groups like Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders have higher rates of diabetes, certain types of cancer and obesity, conditions that are expensive to treat and have lasting consequences.

In my district of Sacramento County, we have a large Hmong population. Some cancer rates in the Hmong are 16 times higher than in the White population, and their cancer is much more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage.

That's one reason why this month I introduced the bipartisan resolution recognizing National Minority Cancer Awareness Week with my colleague, Representative Rodney Davis. We must invest in research, innovation, and diagnosis to end this disparity. I celebrate National Minority Health Month.