The Senate passed an historic immigration reform bill last Thursday. While the House of Representatives still must pass a bill, this legislation could have far-reaching effects on the health of the millions of currently undocumented immigrants in our country.
More than 10 years ago, a very close loved one told me that he was HIV positive. As you can imagine, it was shocking and devastating news. Shocking, because I never thought that HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) would touch my life. It is much too common to think that it is something that affects only other people. Devastating, because the first words that popped into my mind were “AIDS,” “INCURABLE,” and “FATAL.” Just like that, in really big letters, heavy, painful, dripping in tears.
The New and Enhanced Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) Standards Will Help Eliminate Disparities in Health and Health Care
This April, the Office of Minority Health at the Department of Health and Human Services released the enhanced National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in Health and Health Care. With implementation of the Affordable Care Act in full swing and growing interest in improving the delivery of care and addressing health care costs, these standards will serve as a critical guide to developing policies and strategies that improve the quality of health care services and meet the needs of an increasingly diverse population.
Families USA and the National Health Law Program worked together to develop a checklist to help advocates ensure that their states implement health insurance exchanges that meet the needs of people with limited proficiency in English.
A few years ago, a handful of advocates might have gathered together to discuss the issue of health equity and best practices for engaging communities of color in policy campaigns. A few weeks ago at the Health Action conference hosted by Families USA, we packed a room with advocates, foundation staff and state officials from across the country who were eager to discuss this issue and go a step further to discuss meaningful engagement of communities of color in policy change.
The budget fight is sure to heat up in the next couple of months in what seems like a never-ending battle between the President and Congress. So what’s at stake? Many lawmakers want to see large cuts to a range of health care programs—many of which reduce health disparities and provide vital services to millions of people of color. Such cuts would exact a heavy toll on the health of communities of color and only worsen racial inequities in health.