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Washington Highlights

Congressional Tri-Caucus Introduces Legislation to Promote Health Equity

September 23, 2011—Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) Sept. 15 introduced the Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2011 (H.R. 2954), legislation intended to complement efforts of the Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148 and P.L. 111-152) in eliminating health disparities. Members of the Congressional Tri-Caucus—the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) —are among the 68 original cosponsors of the bill.

In addition to provisions aimed at improving culturally and linguistically appropriate care, data collection and reporting, and other initiatives, the bill strives to strengthen the health care workforce. For example, the bill includes language allowing teaching hospitals to count all time residents spend in approved residency programs in an attempt to resolve a longstanding regulatory barrier to residency training in nonhospital settings.

Another provision establishes a grant program jointly administered by the Departments of Health and Human Services, Education, and Labor, to assist academic institutions in developing capacity to improve health equity in their communities. Specifically, the grants support institutional activities to develop metrics and an evidence base for increasing local health equity; developing strategic partnerships with their surrounding communities; and periodically evaluating and modifying the program to maximize its success.

In a statement upon the bill’s introduction, CAPAC Healthcare Taskforce Chair Rep. Lee noted, “Building on the historic provisions in the Affordable Care Act, the Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2011 includes new tools to ensure effective, prioritized action is taken to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities, which can help our nation save trillions of dollars in savings.”


Tannaz Rasouli
Sr. Director, Public Policy & Strategic Outreach
Telephone: 202-828-0525


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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

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Jason Kleinman
Sr. Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806