November is Native American Heritage month. It’s a time to celebrate the rich history, culture, and traditions of American Indian and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs), and elevate the many contributions they have made to our nation. But to truly honor American Indians and Alaska Natives, we must work together to eliminate the profound health inequities AI/AN people face, and ensure that our government honors their treaty responsibilities to ensure the health and welfare of these communities.
Hispanic Heritage Month provides us an opportunity to recognize and lift up the achievements and contributions of the 57.5 million Latinos living in the United States. At the same time, it’s important that we all understand the challenges that Latinos face so we can work together to address them, because their well-being and success are inextricably linked to the well-being, success, and future prosperity of the United States as a whole.
There has been an important and ongoing effort over the past decade to address the manifest failures of our health care system by changing payment and provider organization to reward value and not volume. But transformation efforts largely ignore one of our system’s most fundamental problems: persistent, extensive, severe, and costly health and health care inequities based on race, ethnicity, and geography, among other factors.
Congress and the Trump Administration Should Put Their Money Where Their Mouths Are on Gun Violence Research
Back in March, in the wake of just one in a long line of tragic and senseless mass shootings, Families USA organized a letter to Congress signed by more than 170 national and state organizations calling for an end to the “Dickey Amendment.” The Dickey Amendment, enacted by Congress in 1996, forbids any funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that “may be used to advocate or promote gun control.”
Racial discrimination in the United States is pervasive and affects health outcomes and access to health care on multiple levels—from the interpersonal, to the institutional, to deeper structural divides. Such ingrained racism creates significant barriers for people of color, making it harder for them to get equal access to jobs, housing, education, and health care services.
Central to our core value that every single human being deserves an equitable chance to enjoy the best health possible is that no one is excluded. Not even if they were born outside of the United States. Not even if they lack the proper paperwork.