FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday, February 28th 2020
Contact: Linda Benesch, [email protected]socialsecurityworks.org
Contact for Rep. Jayapal: Subhan Cheema, [email protected]house.gov

New Fact Sheets Show Racial Health Disparities Across the Country

Washington, DC- Yesterday, Congresswomen Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), and Yvette Clarke (D-NY) joined experts for a briefing on how Medicare for All will reduce racial inequities in health care. The event was hosted by Social Security Works, the Congressional Progressive Caucus Center, and the All Means All Campaign.

The briefing, which took place on the one-year anniversary of the introduction of Rep. Jayapal and Rep. Dingell’s historic Medicare for All bill, explored key issues and policy priorities for achieving a health care system that reduces racial health disparities.

In coordination with the briefing, the All Means All Campaign released a series of fact sheets on racial disparities in our current health system in every congressional district nationwide.

Video of the event, including the lawmakers’ remarks, is available here.

Quotes:

“We have a health care system that disproportionately burdens Black and Brown folks. 55% of uninsured Americans are people of color. The uninsured rate for Latinos is the highest in the nation. Black mothers die at a rate that is three times that of white mothers in childbirth. Medicare For All is a racial justice bill. It is a bill for every single person, regardless of your race or your gender or your zip code—because ALL means ALL.” – Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA)

“We must be clear: Our current system is broken. More than 27 million people are uninsured, and even those with coverage face increasing prescription drug costs, outrageous out-of-pocket expenses, as well as the fear of losing coverage because of losing a job or getting sick. We are the only industrialized nation in the world that doesn’t guarantee all its citizens health care. We spend twice as much per person and have worse outcomes, including low life expectancy and high infant mortality rates—and our broken system disproportionately affects minorities and low-income working families. Medicare for All will save lives by ensuring health care is a right, and not a privilege by ensuring every person has access to quality health care. Medicare for All promises to streamline our fragmented health care system, and expand and improve coverage for every American.” – Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI)

“44% of Minnesota’s uninsured are minorities. Our needs as members of marginalized communities should not continue to be invisible.The solution to this problem isn’t to create more means-tested programs. It’s to guarantee healthcare as a human right through Medicare for All.” – Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN)

“No matter someone’s age, gender identity, sexuality, ethnicity or race, all Americans deserve a health care system that is affordable, accessible and dependable. Congress must stop using Band-Aid solutions for a deep-cutting issue and implement the solution that makes sense—a single payer health care system. Health care is a human right and should no longer be treated as a privilege afforded to those with deep pockets. I’m proud to be a leader in Congress on this important issue as co-chair of the Medicare for All Caucus, as we work to bring overdue health care solutions forward for all Americans.” –  Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY)

“We do this work because we believe that racial equity must be a cornerstone of our health care system. That it must center the people who will become what this country looks like. That is what the All Means All Campaign is about.” – Dr. Sanjeev Sriram, Founder of the All Means All Campaign

“From maternal mortality rates to cancer survival rates to how often pain is treated, racial bias shapes our health system. When 59% of people without insurance today are people of color, we can’t ignore that Medicare for All is a racial justice issue.” – Alan Barber, Policy Director of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Center

“Despite spending more on health care per capita than any other country in the world, the United States has extreme health and health care disparities among racial and ethnic populations. Our registered nurses are witnessing those disparities every single day in communities across this country.” – Amirah Sequeira, Lead Legislative Advocate, National Nurses United

“I’m here to debunk the notion that health care in America is a conversation about the insured and the uninsured. Insurance is like a thin sweater in the cold. My sister, like millions of Americans, confused health care with health insurance. She was covered. She bragged about her health insurance. When she needed it, it wasn’t there for her.”  – Kymone Freeman, Co-Founder of We Act Radio

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