Advocates Welcomes the Introduction of the Health Equity and Accountability Act (HEAA)

Advocates for Youth commends Representative Barbara Lee and the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, for introducing the Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2018 (HEAA) on May 23, 2018. At a time when access to healthcare is becoming more restrictive, the introduction of HEAA paves the way for the elimination of health disparities experienced by communities of color, youth, and low-income communities. Advocates for Youth is proud to be one of 300 organizations that has supported HEAA.

HEAA builds on the Affordable Care Act to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health care. The Act addresses a wide range of health equity concerns including Mental Health, Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Health Care, Addressing High Impact Minority Diseases, Data Collection and Reporting, and Addressing Social Determinants, and Improving Environmental Justice. HEAA offers many diverse policy options in each of these areas that will lead to improved health outcomes. As our national demographics continue to change, it is important that we do all we can to give marginalized communities adequate health care that has previously been limited by a lack of funding,staffing, and accountability.

Our work has shown that youth of color and those from low income communities continue to face disproportionate risk of negative sexual health outcomes. The introduction of HEAA begins the process of making quality health care available to all and starts to undo that trend.

We look forward to the introduction of HEAA in the Senate by Senator Mazie K. Hirono.