Latina Health Advocates Celebrate Introduction of Landmark Health Equity Legislation
Today, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) celebrates the introduction of the Health Equity and Accountability Act (HEAA) of 2014 by lead sponsor Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Health Task Force Chair and the Congressional Tri-Caucus – comprised of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and the Congressional Black Caucus.
“I am honored to introduce the 113th Congress Health Equity and Accountability Act on behalf of my colleagues in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Congressional Black Caucus, and the Congressional Asian and Pacific American Caucus. HEAA provides a consensus blueprint of the most principled, comprehensive, and strategic plan to eliminate health disparities and improve the health of all communities. We believe that no one’s life expectancy should be determined by the color of their skin, or the zip code in which they are born. By adopting HEAA’s wide spectrum strategy of racial, ethnic, ability, language, and gender health disparity elimination initiatives, we hope to dramatically reduce the disproportionately high rates of premature death and preventable illness in our minority communities,” said Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), lead sponsor of HEAA of 2014.
HEAA of 2014 was introduced to Congress with the broad support of the Congressional Tri-Caucus and approximately 350 national, state, and local organizations committed to health equity.
“We applaud the Congressional Tri-Caucus and Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard for their tireless commitment to the health of communities of color and achieving health equity and justice,” said Jessica González-Rojas, executive director of NLIRH. “The Health Equity and Accountability Act (HEAA) of 2014 represents the latest achievement in the Congressional Tri-Caucus’s long-standing history of advancing a comprehensive legislative agenda and action plan for health equity.”
Since 2003, HEAA has advances a broadly supported and strategic vision to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare access and health outcomes. HEAA of 2014 builds on the gains for health equity achieved by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and has been updated to reflect the latest, most comprehensive approaches to health disparities elimination. Specifically, HEAA of 2014 advances reproductive and sexual health equity for Latinos/as, including rural, LGBTQ, immigrant, and young Latinos/as, by:
enhancing culturally and linguistically appropriate healthcare and health workforce diversity;
increasing access to comprehensive sexuality education and emergency contraception for communities of color;
removing harmful and counterproductive barriers to affordable health coverage and care for immigrant women and families;
reducing unintended pregnancies for disproportionately impacted youth of color, including rural, LGBTQ, immigrant, and youth in the juvenile justice system;
bolstering data collection efforts and ensuring the collection of data regarding sexual orientation and gender identity;
providing a legislative agenda to address social determinants of health and advance environmental justice.
González-Rojas added, “We know the road to health equity in the United States is long, yet HEAA of 2014 provides the roadmap our communities need and deserve. We urge Congress to prioritize the solutions proposed in HEAA of 2014 for the health of communities of color, our health care system, and our nation as a whole.”
The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health is the only national reproductive justice organization dedicated to building Latina power to advance health, dignity, and justice for 26 million Latinas, their families, and communities in the United States through leadership development, community mobilization, policy advocacy, and strategic communications.
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