Health Disparities Bill Advances in State Legislature
Yesterday, the legislature's Committee on Health Care Financing approved H. 2048 / S. 608 An Act to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities in the Commonwealth. The bill now goes to the House Ways and Means Committee. Its lead sponsors include Representatives Jeffrey Sánchez and Byron Rushing, and Senator Jason Lewis.
Health Care For All has long supported this legislation ever since we helped draft the original bill in 2009 with a broad coalition of disparities advocates in our Disparities Action Network.
The bill creates a permanent Office of Health Equity in the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, focused on health disparities. The Office will provide a framework for a comprehensive approach to health disparities. The focus encompasses all the activities of state government, such as housing, transportation, education and economic development. It requires that the Governor's annual state budget submission identify major state initiatives that affect health and health care, and specify their impact on health disparities. It also calls for an annual report card on progress in reducing disparities.
Health Care For All is committed to working to eliminate health disparities. If your Representative is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee (look up the committee membership here, and find your legislators at WhereDoIVoteMA.com), please contact him or her in support of this important bill.
-- Michelle Savuto