SEPTEMBER 20, 2011
As if Obamacare wasn’t bad enough, a separate “complement” law that will focus on eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities is being pushed through Congress by a coalition of influential minority lawmakers.The measure (Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2011 or HEAA) will save the government trillions of dollars because it will bring “health equity to all corners of our nation,” according to the California congresswoman (Barbara Lee) who chairs the Asian, black and Hispanic healthcare taskforce that introduced the law. It will accomplish this by “building on the historic provisions” of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, Lee asserts.If enacted, the equity law will close the gap in care by ensuring “workforce diversity” in all health fields, making “cultural and linguistically appropriate” healthcare services available to people of color and improving the treatment of “high impact minority diseases” like AIDS, diabetes and hepatitis. The measure will also create a new Office of Minority Health at the Department of Veterans Affairs.Passing HEAA is essential because many communities will remain vulnerable even after Obamacare is fully implemented, according the nation’s most powerful open borders group, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR). HEAA will eliminate “access barriers” for immigrants who want to get government health and nutrition programs and will create “community-based strategies that address social, economic and environmental factors that contribute to health disparities,” the NCLR proudly announced this week.Currently people from communities “of color” are nearly twice as likely as whites to suffer from a serious health condition, says one of the NCLR’s health policy experts touting HEAA this week. Yet, they encounter an “inequitable” system with lower quality care. This is partly due to an “increase in racially segregated living spaces” that leave minority neighborhoods with “less infrastructure that encourages good health,” the NCLR expert claims.As a side note, this seems to go hand in hand with the administration’s $4.5 billion effort to bring healthy cuisine to inner-city areas with “limited access to affordable and nutritious foods.” Under that plan, U.S. taxpayers are providing fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat milk in neighborhoods determined by the government to be “food deserts.” The idea is to promote good health by revolutionizing the inner city diet which consists largely of greasy, fried foods.Back to the minority health issue at hand; Lee, who represents the San Francisco Bay area and claims to be dedicated to “social and economic justice,” is capitalizing on the ethnic health matter. This week she also called on the government to allocate $610 million to a minority HIV/AIDS initiative after calling the sexually transmitted disease the “greatest humanitarian crisis of our time,” especially for African Americans.
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