07.01.2021 / Reporters Note
Reporters Note – Making Our Way Toward a More Equitable Health Care System
July 1, 2021
MEDIA AVAILABILITY – To speak with one of Families USA’s experts about the organization’s health equity policy priorities, please contact Lisa Holland, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-695-5160 (cell).
Making Our Way Toward a More Equitable Health Care System
With growing certainty that a generational social justice bill will be under consideration in Congress, the country has an unprecedented opportunity to center racial disparities in population health on the state and federal levels by passing major health equity legislation in 2021.
President Biden and numerous candidates for Congress have pledged to address racial inequities in health care. But it will take more transformative legislation to truly reduce longstanding health disparities and advance health equity.
Families USA is taking the lead to ensure this transformative legislation comes to fruition. Recently, the organization published an issue brief, Racial Justice and the Social Determinants of Health: Federal Legislative and Administrative Priorities in June 2021. It lays out specific policy recommendations for addressing the impact of systemic racism on people’s health, including:
- Using federal health care funds to invest in programs and policies that address the social determinants of health.
- Re-orienting health care delivery to address the impact of structural racism on health by requiring the use of stratified and equity-focused performance measures across all Medicare and Medicaid provider payment systems
- Requiring robust measures of network adequacy in Medicaid.
And in January, Families USA and members of its Health Equity Task Force for Payment and Delivery Transformation delineated the potential elements of a federal health equity agenda.
We hope that these resources will help improve the health care system and boost the health outcomes for Black Americans and other populations of color. This is a significant moment for the country to tackle and address universal access to care, prevention of avoidable mortality and trauma, and health care spending on population health and social drivers of health.