September 20, 2011
Congressional Tri-Caucus Introduces Health Disparity Bill
Legislation Targets Resources to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Disparities and Promote Health Equity
Washington, DC – On Thursday, September 15, the Congressional Tri-Caucus, comprised of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus introduced the Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2011 (HEAA). Expanding on the foundation laid by the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), HEAA seeks to address the various health disparities that continue to persist among minority communities in the U.S.
“Targeting federal resources to mitigate the various health disparities that affect communities of color is critical not only to our nation’s health, but also our economic security,” said National Minority AIDS Council Deputy Executive Director Daniel C. Montoya. “Serious and sometimes chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and HIV/AIDS, have significantly higher rates among minorities, even when individuals have equal access to insurance. The Health Equity and Accountability Act is a critical tool in identifying the underlying causes of these disparities and targeting solutions that promote both the wellbeing of America’s workforce and its families.”
The HEAA includes provisions that would, among others, increase resources for improved data collection and reporting on incidence rates of various diseases, promote culturally and linguistically appropriate health care, foster diversity among health care providers, and remove barriers to care that impact minority communities.
“Ensuring health equity is consistent with our national values of fairness, equality and justice,” continued Montoya. “It would also ensure significant savings both in health care spending to treat expensive chronic diseases, but also in improved productivity resulting from healthier workers and communities. The HEAA would build upon the promising strategies included in the ACA and initiatives like the Department of Health and Human Services’ Action Plan to Reduce Health Disparities, and NMAC urges Congress to pass it as soon as possible.”
Contact: Kyle Murphy, (202) 483-6622 ext. 333