WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), along with their colleagues U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT), today announced the Health Equity and Accountability Act (HEAA), sweeping legislation that would address health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities as well as women, the LGBTQ+ community, rural populations, and socioeconomically disadvantaged communities across the United States. HEAA is a blueprint of bold policy solutions that uniquely target a wide spectrum of health equity concerns.
“We can do so much more to help underserved communities access comprehensive healthcare that is culturally-competent, equitable and affordable,” said Senator Duckworth. “The Health Equity and Accountability Act will take an important step in addressing historic and systemic inequalities in our health system by prioritizing the unique medical needs and experiences of all Americans.”
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This legislation would:
- Expand access to healthcare including for immigrant and rural communities.
- Improve care for underserved communities through enhanced language access services, provider training on cultural competency, and investments in diversifying the health workforce.
- Dismantle barriers and fund programs to support mental, infant, maternal, sexual, and reproductive health for marginalized and underserved individuals and communities.
- Increase federal resources to address diseases that disproportionately impact minority communities, and engage the entire federal government in building and funding strategies to address social determinants of health.
Duckworth also joined Hirono in introducing HEAA in 2018. This Congress, HEAA was introduced in the House by Representative Jesús “Chuy” García (D-IL) with support from the Congressional Tri-Caucus. HEAA has been introduced in every Congress since 2007. HEAA is endorsed by nearly 200 organizations, including UnidosUS, Asian Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF), Families USA, Community Catalyst, National Health Law Program (NHeLP), National Urban League, and AIDS Alliance for Women, Infants, Children, Youth & Families. The full list of endorsing organizations can be found here. Bill text can be found here.
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