Congress considers well being fairness invoice supported by greater than 300 advocacy teams

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On Tuesday, Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-IL), launched the Well being Fairness and Accountability Act (HEAA), that goals to get rid of racial and ethnic well being inequities and broaden entry to protection.

The invoice, first launched in 2003, is endorsed by greater than 60 stakeholder teams, together with the vice chairman of the NAACP, and leaders for advocacy teams representing a wide range of points from growing older populations to well being points affecting Southeast Asian communities, immigrant well being, Black maternal well being, and extra.

“The Well being Fairness and Accountability Act will scale back racial and ethnic well being inequities, tackle the maternal mortality disaster, strengthen well being knowledge assortment & analysis, broaden entry to psychological well being care, goal gun violence, enhance language entry in well being care, diversify our well being care workforce, and a lot extra,” stated Congresswoman Kelly in a information launch. “I’m proud to guide this laws on behalf of the Congressional Tri-Caucus to enhance healthcare entry and providers for each single American.”

HEAA builds on the positive aspects made below the Inexpensive Care Act and lays out a imaginative and prescient of further investments Congress ought to make to reinforce the well being and well-being of systemically marginalized and underserved communities. The laws is supported by over 300 racial fairness and well being fairness organizations, researchers, supplier teams, and community-based organizations.

The Well being Fairness Coalition for Continual Illness (HECCD) is a kind of organizations. In a letter to congressional leaders, the coalition stated the “invoice gives an total blueprint for progress in the direction of a extra equitable well being care system.” 

The coalition particularly praised three tenets of the invoice, together with increasing well being care protection by eradicating citizenship limitations, specializing in options for a number of power ailments, resembling diabetes, lung illness, HIV, sickle cell illness and weight problems, and rising the variety of well being care professionals from communities of colour. 

“HEEA represents a significant dedication from our leaders on Capitol Hill to handle the systemic points perpetuating unfavorable well being outcomes for folks of colour throughout the nation. For instance, the excellent invoice will goal social determinants of well being that repeatedly put communities of colour at disproportionately excessive threat for power ailments like diabetes, hypertension, and weight problems,” stated the coalition’s co-chairs Tammy Boyd, Dr. Elena Rios, and Dr. Gary A. Puckrein in a press release.

The group stated in a information launch that passage of the invoice could be a “historic step ahead for marginalized People.”

Since 2003, HEAA has been launched by the Congressional Tri-Caucus, comprised of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, the Congressional Black Caucus, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Rep. Kelly is main the laws this yr in her capability as CBC Well being Braintrust Chair.

A number of of these endorsing the laws identified how the Covid-19 introduced racial disparities in healthcare to gentle. 

“As our Covid-19 wants evaluation report underscored, the pandemic has uncovered and exacerbated the racial well being fairness gaps of this nation,” stated Marc H. Morial, President and CEO of the Nationwide City League in a information launch. “This laws addresses these gaps immediately, together with maternal mortality for Black ladies, psychological well being challenges for our youth, gun violence in our communities, and entry to broadband web and gadgets in our houses, and different social determinants of well being in our society.”

Photograph: PeterPencil, Getty Photos

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