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Health Reform is About You and Me, Not One or the Other
Date:12/7/2009

early, to achieve the $57 billion annually from direct excess medical care requires the inclusion of provisions for National Strategy to End Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities in the health reform bill.


What we need are provisions in the bill that would support developing and implementing a national strategy to eliminate these disparities. To do this would require adding about two additional pages to a bill that is already over 2,000 pages long. The savings--in dollars, suffering, and lives--would be well worth the addition. And, we need to ensure that communities of color are participating in implementing health reform and that they are members of the monitoring and decision-making bodies. We need to strengthen and protect provisions pertaining to cultural competency, data, workforce diversity, prevention and wellness.


By adding provisions to address these issues, we can save $57 billion annually and more than $570 billion over 10 years, by eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities. Doing so would ease the country's economic burden, lower the cost of health care, and help pay for health reform. These savings could be invested in growing small businesses, and generating jobs in transportation, construction, healthcare, and technology. We could use those savings to sustain job growth in ways that will rebuild the economy for the long-term and reduce the deficit.

Congress must pay attention to this important issue. Legislators must include provisions in the healthcare reform bill that will support developing and implementing a National Strategy to End Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. That strategy must be developed jointly, in partnership with communities, government, business, and industry. By now this must be perfectly clear that one size does not fit all and needs even vary by District and by State requiring that certainly direct community input must be used to develop, implement, monitor and evaluate t
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SOURCE African American Health Alliance
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