[COLUMN] Census 2020 will bring billions for health care services in the Inland Empire

Census 2020 presentation to faith leaders of the Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, Indonesian and Filipino communities, Asian Pacific Ministry, Diocese of San Bernardino on February 29, 2020.

Victoria S. Clamor is a Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine licensed to practice in California.

Dr. Victoria S. Clamor, LAc, DAOM

A majority of her patients at Trinity Medical Clinic in Ontario are on health care programs, such as Medicaid, the need-based health insurance program for low-income people, and Medicare. Understanding that funding for these public health care services uses data from the U.S. Census Bureau, she urges all co-workers and colleagues in the health professions and her patients to immediately complete and campaign for participation in CENSUS 2020.

Prior to 2005, acupuncture was not included as a benefit on any government healthcare programs. Unless the patient had the ability to pay for acupuncture services, Americans could not avail of acupuncture therapy. Due to proven effectiveness and wide acceptance, Rep. Maurice Hinchey of New York reintroduced H.R 818 (aka Federal Acupuncture Coverage Act of 2005).

H.R. 818 provided amendments to the Social Security Act and Federal Civil Service Law of the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program coverage to qualified acupuncturist services to be included under Part B (Supplementary Medical Insurance) of title XVIII (Medicare).

In 2005, it was estimated that enactment of the bill would enable more than 40 million Medicare eligible Americans access to acupuncture treatment in addition to nine million federal employees, including their dependents, and retirees. Consequently, for Fiscal Year 2015, more than $700 billion in federal funding were distributed to support federal programs based on data obtained from 2010 Census. Included in this funding are $312 billion to Medicaid and $64.2 billion to Medicare Part B.

Today, patients can avail of acupuncture benefits in most health insurances. Medical doctors have been referring patients to acupuncturists for various pain related illnesses.

Today, more Americans choose non-invasive therapy, and lessen the use of addictive narcotics. Now, billions of dollars from federal funds are spent every year for health care services, including acupuncture and other alternative modalities.

Dr. Clamor added that many of her patients are middle-aged and seniors with different ethnic backgrounds have access to no cost prescriptions, no out-of-pocket copay and free transportation to commute from their residences to her medical clinic. Know that most of these programs are provided to residents in the communities based on the last CENSUS. Remember that health care is an essential service that is vital for the development of our communities, and our nation.

By 2030, it is estimated that approximately 79 million individuals would be eligible under Medicare coverage alone. It’s important to know that allocation and availability of the funds are dependent upon each of us. By participating in Census 2020, each of us takes responsibility to ensure that we have the voice and right representation in our government to make legislative decisions that benefit us, including but not limited to making sure sufficient funds are allocated for all eligible health care programs, such as Medicaid/Medicare.

Dr. Clamor, together with NEFFCON-IE, urges everyone to complete Census 2020 now via:

• ONLINE by going directly to https://my2020census.gov (available 24/7);

• TELEPHONE by calling either 844-330-2020 (English);  check it out – other languages are also available; or

• US POSTAL MAIL by completing and mailing the enclosed self-address CENSUS 2020 form they received to: U.S. Census Bureau, National Processing Center, 100 Logistics Avenue, Jeffersonville, IN 47144

(Contributed by: Dr. Victoria S. Clamor, LAc, DAOM and Naida Castro / NEFFCON-IE)
The National Ecumenical Forum for Filipino Concerns in the Inland Empire (NEFFCON-IE) is an organization comprising of people of faith who believe in the dynamic presence and integration of Filipinos and Filipino-Americans in the US Church and society. People of faith are called to be faithful citizens.

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