Last week, Rep. Lucile Roybal-Allard, chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’s health task force, introduced the Health Equity and Accountability Act (HEAA) of 2014. This legislation is the latest effort by the Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and Congressional Asian and Pacific Islander Caucus to enact a comprehensive plan to eliminate the health disparities that plague communities of color and other groups. In every legislative session since 2003, lawmakers have introduced similar bills seeking to improve health outcomes for minority groups.
"We cannot be a country that believes in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness if people do not have access to health care. Where is the liberty when you are chained to the fear that if one of your children gets sick you may not be able to afford to take care of them?" Sen. Cory Booker, D-NJ, at the 23rd Annual Health Action Conference.
Congress is back from summer vacation and has little time to waste on a packed September agenda. Legislative items on its plate this month include: passing a government funding bill and disaster relief; extending funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), community health centers, and other key health programs; addressing the debt ceiling; and pivoting to tax reform.
Additionally, key Republicans and Democrats have promised to come together to address affordability and stability in the marketplace. It’s going to be a very busy month.
While Congress wrestles with budget reconciliation and takes another swipe at the Affordable Care Act, most state lawmakers are back at their day jobs and finished with legislative business for the year. The 2015 sessions produced a few highlights, and some lowlights, for health care advocates. Lawmakers continued to grapple with full implementation of the ACA, but some looked beyond the health care law to move their states toward a health reform 2.0 agenda. Below we note some of the significant work this year in state capitals.
The activity around payment and system reform creates an opportunity to develop interventions that directly address racial and ethnic health disparities. However, some reforms could inadvertently make disparities worse. For example, they could discourage providers from treating sicker, more complex patients, or undermine the financial viability of struggling safety net providers.
Fortunately, some communities are implementing delivery system reforms that reduce health disparities and bend the cost curve. The effective models we describe in this blog series share several features in common.
A new report released last week confirms the findings that enrollment experts emphasized on our teleconference with reporters last Wednesday: We still have a ways to go in getting “hard-to-reach” populations enrolled in health coverage.
On December 1, Families USA partnered with First Focus to give congressional staff the opportunity to hear how states are handling the unprecedented delay in funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program.
Joan Alker - Executive Director, Georgetown Center for Children and Families
Maureen Hensley-Quinn - Senior Program Director, NASHP
Moderator: Frederick Isasi - Executive Director, Families USA
Members of Congress and the Trump Administration have frequently proposed measures that would eliminate or undermine essential health benefits (EHBs) established by the Affordable Care Act.
This means getting rid of a core protection for people with pre-existing conditions. And it would have devastating consequences for millions of people.
Weakening or eliminating the EHB requirements would leave millions without any affordable health care options, forcing them to pay out of pocket for needed care or go without care all together.
Yesterday, the Trump administration told insurers and regulators in Idaho that they cannot sell health plans that do not comply with the Affordable Care Act. This is the first recognition from the administration that the ACA remains the law of the land.
Health information technology (HealthIT) offers many powerful tools in the fight to eliminate disparities in the delivery of care and health outcomes. From identifying variation in care delivery and outcomes by demographic group to harnessing the power of mobile devices to collect and share health data, the opportunities to leverage HealthIT in the promotion of health equity are plentiful.