Washington, DC – Today, SEARAC applauds the reintroduction of the Health Equity and Accountability Act (HEAA). Introduced by US Rep. Robin Kelly (IL-02), HEAA re-envisions a healthcare system that centers patients by improving data collection, increasing support for culturally and linguistically appropriate health care and mental health services, and expanding health coverage.
As the largest refugee community to ever be resettled in America’s history, Southeast Asian Americans (SEAAs) have unique physical and mental health challenges that result from decades of unaddressed traumas from war, genocide, and displacement. Hmong and Vietnamese women are at a higher risk of cervical cancer
, and Cambodian adults experience post-traumatic stress disorder at 20 times the rate of the general public
. The provisions in HEAA would improve the infrastructure and resources to address these and other inequities that SEAAs face.
Watch the bill’s introduction via livestream recording here.
“Southeast Asian communities deserve the dignity to heal from the unaddressed, intergenerational traumas our families continue to face. Our families and elders need access to quality care that is culturally and linguistically competent. The lack of adequate health data on our communities erases the inequities we endure and creates challenges to assess our health needs properly,” said Quyen Dinh, SEARAC Executive Director. “We celebrate Rep. Kelly and the Congressional Tri-Caucus for reintroducing HEAA. The bill reimagines a healthcare system that prioritizes health equity for all and would create a healthcare system that recognizes and addresses the many health disparities in our communities. We urge Congress to move quickly and advance this legislation and others like it.”
HEAA has been introduced by the Tri-Caucus, composed of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, Congressional Black Caucus, and Congressional Hispanic Caucus, since 2003.
ACTION ALERT: Contact your members of Congress and urge them to support the HEAA!
Find contact information for your member of Congress here
. You can use the following message (or write your own):
“My name is ____ and I am from ______(city, state). I am calling you to express concern for the inequities in our healthcare system and to urge you to support the Health Equity and Accountability Act (HEAA) introduced by Rep. Kelly. This bill has the support of the Congressional Tri-Caucus. Too many elders and families in our community are unable to access quality healthcare because of inadequate coverage and a lack of culturally and linguistically competent care. HEAA reimagines a healthcare system that prioritizes health equity for all, and I urge you to cosponsor the bill.”