Congressional Leaders Introduce Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2014(HEAA)

August 5, 2014

 

The Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2014 was introduced by Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard and other members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and Congressional Black Caucus. This Act builds upon the Affordable Care Act by further providing federal resources, policies, and infrastructure to eliminate health disparities in all populations. The HEAA aims to reduce ethnic and racial disparities in healthcare access and outcomes within minority groups. Furthermore, the HEAA’s “wide spectrum” strategy of racial, ethnic, ability, language, and gender health disparity elimination initiatives aims at reducing the high rates of premature death and preventable illnesses within minority communities.

The main targets of the HEAA:

  • Improves data collection by expanding the racial and ethnic categories in national datasets, primary language, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation, socioeconomic status and disability, collected through the Affordable Care Act
  • Increases data collection for AA & NHOPIs by oversampling in national surveys
  • Reduces barriers to insurance for all lawfully present immigrants by removing the federal five-year bar from Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicare and the Exchanges
  • Supports the citizens of American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands by eliminating Medicaid funding limitations, increasing the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage for certain cancers, and amending the Public Health Service Act to provide direct financial assistance
  • Promotes Native Hawaiian health by reimbursing medical assistance provided to Native Hawaiians under Medicaid and reauthorizing the Native Hawaiian Health Care Improvement Act
  • Strengthens workforce training by fully funding programs that will emphasize culturally and linguistically appropriate training
  • Establishes reimbursement for culturally and linguistically appropriate services in Medicare, Medicaid and state Children’s Health Insurance Programs
  • Promotes proven strategies to address the social determinants of health, which contribute to health disparities in minority communities
  • Supports health information technology efforts to improve quality of care for the medically underserved
  • Promotes research and initiatives to address health conditions that disproportionately affect AA & NHOPIs, such as diabetes and hepatitis B
  • Works on improving grant programs established by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIHMD)

The Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) wrote a post in support of the HEAA. 

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