Key Health Disparities-Focused Legislation Introduced in the 110th Congress

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Thomas, Megan and James, Cara and Lillie-Blanton, Marsha The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation (2007) Key Health Disparities-Focused Legislation Introduced in the 110th Congress. The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, MenloPark,CA.


Although the 110th Congress is only about half-way through, the number of bills introduced that include some attention to “health disparities” is about the same as introduced in the entire 109th Congress. This compendium summarizes federal legislative efforts introduced in the 110th Congress that focus on addressing racial and ethnic disparities in health and health care. A search of the Library of Congress’ legislative database identified 177 bills introduced thus far in the 110th Congress that met our search criteria. While a number of bills introduced this year may have an impact on health disparities and/or affect minority health, the goal of this document is to highlight legislation that specifically addresses racial and ethnic health disparities. About a dozen such bills have been introduced in the 110th Congress, including the Minority Health Improvement and Health Disparity Elimination Act and the Office of Men’s Health Act of 2007. Many others, such as the Lupus Research, Education, Awareness, Communication, and Healthcare Amendments of 2007 include provisions to address minority populations, but do not specifically focus on disparities. For this reason, this compendium does not discuss them. Several bills introduced in the 110th Congress focus on expanding health insurance coverage to the uninsured, across racial and ethnic groups. Though not included in this compendium, legislation that would improve access to health coverage for minority groups, such as the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2007, the Children’s Dental Health Improvement Act, and the United States National Insurance Act, are of critical importance as more than half of the 47 million uninsured Americans are people of color.