Health disparities for Filipinxs in health care are disguised by data aggregation

By Carlos Irwin A. Oronce


Oct. 11, 2021

Aggregated data covers up the gross inequalities faced by specific demographics within the broad and diverse umbrella category of “Asian and Pacific Islander Americans.” 20% of nurses in CA are Filipinx and they’ve been hit hard by the for-profit motivated “just in time” policies in hospitals. These greedy policies have led to many unnecessary deaths as front-line COVID-19 nurses haven’t been provided adequate personal protection equipment to contend with the virus. Nationally, while 4 percent of registered nurses nationwide are Pinay, they account for about 25 percent of Covid-19 deaths among registered nurses.

PANA is doing its part to educate people about the realities behind the numbers and shares this article from STAT news:

Since the outset of the pandemic, it has become abundantly clear that social and economic factors shaped by the U.S.’s history of structural racism have caused disproportionate numbers of deaths among racial and ethnic minority groups due to Covid-19. Lost in the conversation have been the experiences of Asian American communities, and Filipinxs in particular.


Pinay Nurses in Manila

While the official numbers show that Asian Americans have lower death rates from Covid-19, the few states in which data are broken out by Asian ethnicity reveal sharply higher proportions of Filipinxs who have contracted the disease and died from it. In Hawaii, Filipinxs make up 16% of the population but more than 20% of Covid-related deaths. In California, where Filipinxs make up 20% of nonelderly Asian adults, they make up 42% of Covid deaths in that category.


The Largest City in CA Votes to Support AB 1400 – The CalCare Act

By a vote of 11-0, on Wednesday, August 25, 2021, Los Angeles City Council passed a resolution to support Medicare-for-All in CA. This came on the heals of Healthcare-for-All Los Angeles work to win endorsements from 17 Neighborhood Councils across the City.

The resolution, if signed by Mayor Eric Garcetti, would officially state the city’s support for Assembly Bill 1400, which was introduced on Feb. 19 by Assemblyman Ash Kalra, D-San Jose; Alex Lee, D-San Jose; and Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, D-Los Angeles.

The bill would establish a single-payer health care system in the state called the California Guaranteed Health Care for All program, or CalCare, which would cover all Californians.

“This bill, if approved, would protect people in California by expanding coverage to nearly 3 million uninsured Californians and provide benefits such as dental care, prescription drug coverage and longterm care. It would end all out-of-pocket patient costs, including premiums, co-pays and deductibles, and it would ban healthcare providers participating in CalCare from operating in the private marketplace. It’s a great way to take greed and the predominance of the profit margin out of the healthcare equation and make sure we put the health and well-being of Californians first.”


Building API Power to Win Health Care Equality

July 7, 2021


Medicare-for-All Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

See this National Nurses United webpage to see answers to common questions about “Medicare-for-All” and the vision for a Single Payer System that can bring healthcare to all in the United States!

Read about the Medicare-for-All Act of 2021 here:

and, here:


PANA/Healthcare-for-All Los Angeles Speech in Support of Seniors at Sakura ICF


May 1, 2021: Cheng-Sim Lim speaks on behalf of PANA and Healthcare for All Los Angeles outside the Sakura Intermediate Care Facility (ICF) in Boyle Heights, urging support for both AB 279 and AB 1400.



cheng-sim lim_PANA-HCA-LosAngeles


Cheng-Sim Lim, speaking for PANA and Healthare for All Los Angeles at Rally against evictions at Sakura ICF in Boyle Heights

Hello everyone!  My name is Cheng-Sim Lim and I’m here on behalf of PANA-Progressive Asian network for Action – and Healthcare for All Los Angeles to join voices with all of you, to say loud and clear:  SAVE OUR SENIORS!


History of Discrimination

When they were young, our Japanese American elders at Sakua suffered a grave injustice. They were incarcerated during World War II for being of Japanese descent


Today, in their 80s and 90s, they face another injustice. They face eviction – in the middle of a pandemic – because Pacifica, the company that owns Sakura, wants to convert the care facility into apartments.


Sakura has thankfully been COVID-free. But, apart from Sakura, there is no other COVID-safe facility in LA County that offers Japanese bilingual, bi-cultural services AND accepts Medi-Cal.


The elders here fear Pacifica wants to transfer them to another facility it owns, Kei-Ai, which the LA Times has identified as the deadliest nursing home in California. There have been over 100 resident deaths at Kei-Ai due to COVID.


I’m an immigrant and I bet any of you here, who are from first or second generation immigrant families, will understand this: Being able to communicate in one’s primary language – Japanese in this case, or be it Spanish, Korean, Chinese, Armenian, etc. – and being in a culturally welcoming environment, is important to the well-being of our elders.


If our elders cannot communicate with nursing staff, they will be cut off from receiving the care they need. And if they are not getting the foods and activities they enjoy, they are more likely to become depressed and shut down, causing their health to decline precipitously.


This is the “no choice” our Japanese American elders at Sakura face: Move to a facility where they won’t have culturally sensitive care, and risk their health and lives. Or, move to the deadliest COVID nursing care facility in California, and risk their health and lives.


This is the kind of cruelty built into the current system where long-term care is run as a profit-making business. This is corporate violence whose victims are predominantly low-income, BIPOC seniors on Medi-Cal, and in the case of Sakura, anti-Asian violence.


Corporate Anti-Asian Violence


In the same way that Asian Americans are mounting community self-defense against thugs who target and attack Asian American seniors walking in the neighborhood, we must mount self-defense against corporate thugs, so all our seniors can grow old with love and dignity.


What does this self-defense involve? The first and necessary step: we must push for AB 279 to pass in the State Legislature to stop Pacifica and any other nursing home operator from cutting services and transferring seniors during COVID. Shout-out to Assembly Member Miguel Santiago for co-introducing this bill in the State Assembly.


But what happens after COVID? AB 279 is a stop gap measure that ends when the COVID emergency is over. We need a lasting solution beyond AB 279 that removes the ability for any company to profit out of denying care to our seniors. And that lasting solution, I want to suggest to you, is CalCare AB 1400. Shout-out again to Assembly Member Santiago because he is a joint author of the bill.


“CalCare / AB 1400” – A Healthcare Reform Bill That Addresses Inequality in Public Health

CalCare is the most powerful elder self-defense tool out there. CalCare is like Medicare except super charged, super improved and expanded. CalCare will cover long-term care.


And if seniors want to receive care in their homes, CalCare will cover that too. CalCare provides multilingual, culturally sensitive care for anyone who needs it. In fact, CalCare will cover all medically necessary care, including in addition to long-term care, dental, vision, hearing, mental health, substance abuse treatment, and prescription drugs. Plus CalCare will expand all this wonderful health coverage to all the residents of California. Everybody will be protected, nobody will be left out.


But wait, there’s more! CalCare means we’ll pay a big fat zero in premiums, deductibles, and co-pays. And we can all go to any doctor or hospital we choose. There will be no more surprise bills because we went to an emergency room in a hospital that is out-of-network. Everybody will be in network, nobody will be out.


CalCare does all this and saves money too – anywhere from 37 to 50 billion dollars per year in healthcare spending in California, depending on the study.


So Assembly Member Santiago. We urge you to fight hard for AB 279 along with CalCare AB 1400 in the State Assembly. And we will fight hard right there with you.


Because our elders deserve to live with love and dignity;


Because human lives matter over corporate profit;


Because we will not allow anti-Asian violence whether it stems from hate or Pacifica’s greed.


We will have healthcare for all instead of insurance for some.


We will Save Our Seniors!


Thank you.



AB 1400 1 of 2



Fact Sheet 1 of 2


AB 1400 2 of 2



Fact Sheet 2 of 2




PANA Calls for Passage of AB 1400

We support AB-1400 for its acknowledgement of the need for culturally, linguistically, and structurally competent care. This is a vital part of the legislation, to sensitively provide care to people of color. Translation services, prescribed diets, and other such components of care should be culturally competent to meet the physical and mental health needs of our diverse communities. Implementing a comprehensive single payer healthcare plan in California, the most diverse state in the nation, is a statement of equality. For these and many other reasons, we look forward to working with the authors in advancing AB-1400 and the effort to win a “single-payer” health care system in California.

Download the PANA Support letter for AB 1400 HERE.

Support AB 1400

Read more about AB 1400:

Anti-Asian Violence Healthcare Housing

CDPH: Oppose the Pacifica “Transition Plan!”

PANA statement to the California Department of Public Health calls for the rejection of Pacifica Companies’ March 29, 2021 proposal to mass evict all Japanese American and Japanese seniors aged mostly in their 90’s to 100’s out of the Sakura Intermediate Care Facility (ICF) in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles. This proposal will accelerate the deaths of these already-fragile seniors and exacerbate displacement/gentrification in Boyle Heights.

We call upon the CDPH to act in support of the health interests of the seniors of the Sakura ICF. Bilingual care is a lifeline issue. Bi-cultural services is a health issue. Please stand upon the right side of history. Help lead a new direction in California politics away from its racist past and protect the well-being of these seniors by rejecting this harmful “Transition Plan.” – Progressive Asian Network for Action (PANA)

Healthcare Housing

The Intersection of Housing and Healthcare and the Fight to win Full Equality

Photo (pictured from left, with age, birthplace, generation): Michi Sakatani, 102, Kukui Haele, Hawaii, Kibei/Nisei; Yasuko Hattori, 101, Osaka, Shin Issei; Pauline Sakata, 100, Bowles, CA, Nisei; Jack Kunitomi, 100, Los Angeles, Nisei; Shigeko Kishimoto, Gardena, Kibei/Nisei; Kiyono Shigetomi, 108, Hiroshima, Issei. (Photo by Yumi Yuge)

“Save Our Seniors (SOS) is an all-volunteer network of individuals and organizations that is working to secure the continuation of bilingual and bi-cultural care and services for seniors residing at the facilities formerly known as Keiro Nursing and Retirement homes, a Japanese American institution for nearly fifty years. To this day, due to inequalities in the U.S. public health system, no other such facilities exist. Because of this context, the lives of the remaining residents are endangered by the profit objectives of the owners of these facilities.”

PANA members have been playing a key role in this fight as members of the SOS Network. PANA members have helped to organize and mobilize for mass events, assisted with social media promotion and are working to win support for AB 279, which would help stop evicitions of seniors during the pandemic.  PANA views this fight at part of the larger effort to win equality in healthcare and to win Medicare-for-All in CA, such as by winning AB 1400.

Sakura Gardens and Sakura ICF


Take Action with SOS Network – NOW:
Click Here

Save Our Seniors Network
Save Our Seniors Network
Healthcare Housing Political Power

Stop Evictions of Seniors During the Pandemic!

Sponsored by Assemblymembers Al Muratsuchi and Miguel Santiago, AB 279 was inspired by seniors and families who are fighting against evictions at the Sakura Intermediate Care Facility (ICF) in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles.  The international developer owners, Pacifica Companies, seeks to empty the building to convert it to high-rent, market-rate housing.  Furthermore, they are proposing to send the seniors to facilities such as a skilled nursing facility (SNF) they manage, Kei-Ai Los Angeles, that is currently number one such facility in the state for cumulative COVID-19 Deaths.  Sakura ICF, conversely has been kept 100% COVID-19 free and it is the only bilingual/bi-cultural service facility of its kind for Japanese Americans in the U.S.

AB 279 will protect seniors at ALL ICF’s and SNF’s in CA, prohibiting such facilities from terminating, transferring, or significantly altering the conditions of residential care services during the State of California’s COVID-19 state of emergency period.


Support AB 1400

FINALLY! A Healthcare Reform Initiative That Directly Addresses Inequality

AB 1400 – The “CalCare Act”

AB 1400 1 of 2
AB 1400 2 of 2

Read the AB 1400 Bill Text


Japanese American Seniors and the U.S. Healthcare Crisis

Japanese American Seniors and the US Healthcare Crisis

Japanese Americans have the highest percentage of elderly than any Asian American demographic (19%)

AB 1400 Will Help Protect Our Seniors
Economic Justice Healthcare Working-Class Power

Celebrate May Day and Build API Worker Power!

International Workers’ Day, May 2, 2020

Asian American workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic