For Immediate Release
April 27, 2012

Washington, DC – The Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) welcomed today’s introduction of the Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2012 (S. 2474) (HEAA) in the U.S. Senate. The bill, introduced by Sen. Daniel Akaka and joined by Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, builds on the strengths of the health care reform law and provides additional tools to address health and health disparities affecting minority and undeserved communities.

“We commend our Senate leaders for their leadership and commitment to advancing health equity,” said Kathy Lim Ko, APIAHF President and CEO. “The Health Equity and Accountability Act complements the historic Affordable Care Act to create a more equitable health care system that truly meets the needs of all communities.”

“The Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2012 is the most comprehensive legislation introduced to date that addresses racial and ethnic health and health care inequities, as well as those subpopulations of communities of color that face additional barriers based on immigration status, disability, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, geographic location and limited English proficiency,” said Priscilla Huang, APIAHF Policy Director.

Today’s bill serves as the Senate counterpart to the Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2011 (H.R. 2954), introduced last year by Rep. Barbara Lee, along with Reps. Donna Christensen, Lucille Roybal-Allard and dozens of members of the Congressional Tri-Caucus – comprised of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, Congressional Black Caucus, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Both the House and Senate versions of the HEAA specifically outline initiatives that will reduce racial and ethnic health disparities, while providing innovative and effective investments and reforms for closing the gap in care. The bills offer increased data collection and reporting, ensures workforce diversity, makes available cultural and linguistically appropriate health care services and improves overall health for women, children, and families.

For more information about the Health Equity and Accountability Act, click here.

The Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) influences policy, mobilizes communities, and strengthens programs and organizations to improve the health of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.