On April 30, 2014, Congressman Al Green (TX-09) introduced a resolution to promote minority health awareness as well as support the goals and ideals of National Minority Health Month in April 2014. The resolution specifically seeks to bring attention to the health disparities faced by minority populations in the U.S. A companion resolution was previously introduced in the Senate by Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD).
“All Americans should have equal access to quality health care,” Congressman Al Green said. “These troubling statistics about the state of health care and health outcomes for minorities should disturb all people of good will,” Congressman Al Green said. “We must redouble our efforts legislatively and through community-based health care initiatives to eliminate the unhealthy circumstances evident from these statistics.”
The resolution highlights several sobering facts about the inequality in health outcomes experienced by minorities. African Americans have a 50 percent higher death rate from stroke than Caucasian Americans. According to Gallup, 33 percent of Latinos in the U.S. are uninsured, while 15.6 percent of the overall population is uninsured. Additionally, the Department of Health and Human Services has identified six main categories in which racial and ethnic minorities experience disparate access to health care: infant mortality, cancer screening and management, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and immunizations.
“Inequalities in health status and health care exact an enormous human and economic toll on our nation that we simply cannot afford. We cannot accept the status quo– where African American children have a 60 percent higher prevalence of asthma than white children, or one where Native Americans and Alaska Natives are more than twice as likely to have diabetes as whites. Your race, ethnicity or zip code should not dictate your health status,” said Senator Ben Cardin. “Our work is unfinished, but now we have a national strategy for quality improvement with more tools and resources at our disposal to fight the challenges inherent in our health care system.”
202. 225. 7508