CAPAC Applauds Senate Introduction of Health Equity and Accountability Act

Apr 27, 2012

Washington, D.C. – Today, Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) released the following statements on the introduction of S. 2474, the Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2012 in the United States Senate.  The bill was introduced by CAPAC Executive Board Member Senator Daniel K. Akaka of Hawaii and serves as a companion bill to H.R. 2954, which was introduced in the House of Representatives last fall by Congresswoman Barbara Lee, CAPAC’s Healthcare Taskforce Chair.

Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-32), CAPAC Chair: “I applaud Senator Akaka for his leadership in introducing the Health Equity and Accountability Act in the United States Senate.  Like its counterpart in the House of Representatives, the bill includes some of the top healthcare priorities for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, including provisions for more accurate and disaggregated data collection, culturally and linguistically appropriate health care, and measures to address diseases like Hepatitis B that disproportionately impact the AAPI community. Eliminating disparities that disproportionately impact minority communities is vital to achieving health equity, and I am more optimistic now than ever that we will see real progress towards improved health outcomes for minority communities and ensure a healthier future for all Americans.”

Senator Daniel K. Akaka (HI): “The Health Equity and Accountability Act makes improving health outcomes for minorities in this country a priority. My bill will make it easier for minority communities to access health care services by overcoming cultural and language barriers and increasing research on prevention and treatment of diseases that disproportionately affect minorities.”

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-09), CAPAC Health Taskforce Chair: “Working to achieve health equity and eliminate health disparities is not only morally and medically important, but will yield notable economic dividends. While the Affordable Care Act is a significant step forward on the path to health equity, much work remains to address existing disparities and to ensure that all communities have equal access to a healthier future. I applaud Senator Akaka for his tireless efforts to advance health equity and welcome the introduction of the Senate companion to H.R. 2954, the Health Equity and Accountability Act.”

Background:

The Health Equity and Accountability Act builds upon the efforts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and focuses on eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities.  Specifically, the legislation improves and guides federal efforts in the following vital areas: diversity in the health workforce; culturally and linguistically competent care; data collection and reporting; high impact minority diseases (viral hepatitis, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and specific cancers); improvement of health outcomes for women, children and families; mental health; health information technology; accountability and evaluation; and addressing social determinants of health.

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The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) is comprised of Members of Congress of Asian and Pacific Islander descent and members who have a strong dedication to promoting the well-being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Currently chaired by Congresswoman Judy Chu, CAPAC has been addressing the needs of the AAPI community in all areas of American life since it was founded in 1994.