Women’s Health Leader Applauds Congressional Tri-Caucus for Reintroducing Bill that Promotes Health Equity

Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families

“We applaud the Congressional Tri-Caucus for reintroducing the Health Equity and Accountability Act (HEAA). This act would help foster health equity, and eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities that exist in the United States.

Our health system fails when it comes to protecting and promoting the health and well-being of people of color. For example, Black women are 3-4 times more likely to experience a pregnancy-related death than white women. HEAA seeks to address this disparity by establishing grants for state departments of health to support maternal mortality review committees. Additionally, Latinas and American Indian Alaska Native women are twice as likely to be uninsured than white women. HEAA would help these women by removing citizenship and immigration barriers to health coverage.

The HEAA is a comprehensive bill that includes critical provisions, from improved data collection and reporting to support for mental health to workforce development. HEAA provides the resources, funding, policy changes and infrastructure necessary to improve health care access and quality for communities of color and other underserved populations.

If we are serious about addressing the disparities within our health system and ensuring fairness, justice, and equal opportunity in this nation, we need policies like HEAA that intentionally and holistically address the systematic barriers that perpetuate these shameful inequities.”

About the National Partnership

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, reproductive health and rights, access to quality, affordable health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at NationalPartnership.org.

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