Health disparities inspire law to end health care discrimination
California Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff introduced the bill Equal healthcare for everybody, which enjoys bicameral support, seeks to address racial inequality in the United States health care system by making equitable health care a protected civil right.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed many inequalities that affect our society, and in particular, the health care system,” the congressman said.
He stated that the health crisis revealed just how catastrophic these inequalities are for African American, Hispanic, and Indigenous communities.
“Just as Congress has sought to eliminate racism in housing, employment, and education, we must act immediately to do the same with health care.“.
made see that Health Care Equality for All Act Justice in health care will begin to be treated as a civil right for the first time in our nation’s history.
“We have come a long way in the fight to end systemic racism, but our work is far from over, and this law is an essential first step.”
Schiff said he was inspired to introduce this law, because already during the pandemic, many minorities have died at very high rates compared to other groups.
“While analyzing the problem, with community leaders in Los Angeles, I’ve discovered that part of the answer is undoubtedly equal access to health care, because even if people do manage to get it, it’s not good quality and full of prejudice.“.
This means, he says, that medical care in the hospital and clinic is provided based on skin color.
I have spoken to some families who have lost their members because they did not receive good medical care. It prompted me to do something; I worked with health care providers and various groups to write this law.”
He commented that during the pandemic, too, they noted that the highest rates of infection with the virus occurred among those suffering from chronic diseases such as diabetes.
The health differences were very clear. So we really need to take care of them.”
The congressman said large organizations support the measure. “We hope to have bipartisan support. There is no reason why we should not expect members on both sides to care about equitable health care.”
However, due to a complex bill, he hopes it will take some time to pass.
“At least we need bipartisan support in the Senate.”
For his part, Los Angeles Democratic Senator Alex Padilla, who was invited by Congressman Schiff to join his project, said that for too long, inequality in our health care system has resulted in disproportionately worse health outcomes for women. It was only exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Congress has a duty to act on these inequalities and correct the errors that have left many communities without access to high-quality health care.”
He pointed out that this bill would make unfair care, a form of prohibited discrimination, and would treat fair medical care as a civil right that ensures that everyone has access to a high-quality health service.
“Tackling health inequality in our country has been a long-standing need, and this legislation is a step in the right direction.”
Law Equal healthcare for all Establishing an unequal definition of health care to help ensure that hospitals provide the same quality health care services to all patients regardless of race, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, age, or religion.
It will also create an Office for Civil Rights and Health Equality within the Department of Health and Human Services, a system for patients to file complaints that can be referred to the Department of Justice as well as a new federal Health Equality Commission to track progress in reducing disparities.
But it also requires hospitals and health care providers to report patient demographics. So the federal government can better track and address racial inequality.
This bill is supported by the American Diabetes Association, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the National Urban Association, the National Network for Disabled Rights, and Families USA.
It is co-sponsored by 21 Democratic lawmakers from both Congress and the Senate.
The bill was introduced last Tuesday, October 16th. He will be sent to the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee, where Congressman Schiff’s office plans to continue working as well as other allies to continue to mobilize support.
During the pandemic, Covid-19 has severely affected Latinos.
In California, 45.7% of all deaths were Hispanics, and 52.9% of all positive cases.
In Los Angeles County, the Department of Public Health reports that as of October 31, 13,397 Latinos have died from COVID, out of a total of 26,637 deaths. Of the nearly 1.5 million positive cases registered in the county, there are 728,638 Latino cases.