AAPCHO Applauds Introduction of Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2018
November 28, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON – The Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) today applauded Sen. Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) for introducing the Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2018 (HEAA) (S.3660). A companion bill was introduced in the House in May by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) (H.R.5942) on behalf of the Congressional Tri-Caucus, comprised of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. A comprehensive and broadly-supported legislation, the bill aims to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities including for medically underserved Asian American (AA), Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) communities.
The bill—cosponsored by Sens. Duckworth (D-IL), Cardin (D-MD), Harris (D-CA), Booker (D-NJ), Merkley (D-OR), Kaine (D-VA), Blumenthal (D-CT), Gillibrand (D-NY), and Brown (D-OH)—supports health equity improvement efforts in communities nationwide and includes provisions that improve and guide federal efforts in areas such as: culturally and linguistically competent care; data collection and reporting; health workforce diversity; improving health outcomes for women, children and families; addressing high impact minority diseases, such as viral hepatitis, cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and HIV/AIDS; health information technology; accountability and evaluation; and addressing social determinants of health and improving environmental justice.
“We commend Senator Hirono and members of the Senate, and Congresswoman Lee and the Congressional Tri-Caucus, for their efforts to advance health equity and introducing this important legislation,” said Jeffrey Caballero, executive director of AAPCHO. “The bill includes some of the top health care priorities for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, including provisions for providing culturally and linguistically appropriate health care, development of an ongoing and sustainable national strategy for ensuring undercounted populations are represented in national surveys, and measures to address diseases like diabetes and viral hepatitis that disproportionately impact these communities.”
As an organization committed to improving the health status and access of AAs and NHPIs, and to achieving health equity for all communities, AAPCHO joined over 300 organizations in writing a letter to lawmakers supporting this bill. For more on why AAPCHO and other health equity advocates support the bill, read the letter to legislators here.
“Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders and other communities of color continue to experience health disparities and as a result, poorer health outcomes. This bill will help to address the unique health challenges in these communities and ensure that all communities have equal access to a healthier future. We look forward to working with our partners to help pass this law,” Caballero added.
AAPCHO is a national association of community health organizations dedicated to promoting advocacy, collaboration and leadership that improves the health status and access of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. For more information on AAPCHO, please visit www.aapcho.org.
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