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Washington Highlights

Senators Introduce Legislation to Promote Health Equity

May 5, 2012—Senators Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) and Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) April 26 introduced the Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2012 (S.2474), the Senate version of legislation introduced by the Congressional Tri-Caucus in September 2011 intended to complement efforts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, P.L. 111-148 and P.L. 111-152) in mitigating health disparities [see Washington Highlights, Sept. 23, 2011].

In addition to provisions regarding culturally and linguistically appropriate care, data collection and reporting, and research to develop better treatment plans for diseases that disproportionately affect minorities, both bills include a title to strengthen the health care workforce.

Similar to the House bill, the Senate version includes language allowing teaching hospitals to count all time residents spend in approved residency programs in an effort to relieve a longstanding administrative burden and encourage residency training in nonhospital settings. The bills also would authorize a grant program to assist academic institutions in developing capacity to improve health equity in their communities.

Reps. Donna Christensen (D-V.I.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.) introduced the House bill (H.R. 2954) on behalf of the health task forces for the Congressional Tri-Caucus, which includes the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC). H.R. 2954 awaits consideration by a subcommittee of the Education and the Workforce Committee, while the Senate companion has been referred to the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee.


Alexandra Khalife
Legislative Analyst
Telephone: 202-828-0418

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