Equity Plan for Affordable Healthcare
Sponsored by Rep. Carlos Tobón (RI) and Rep. Kelly Fajardo (NM)
Ratified by the Caucus on December 11, 2020
WHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the disparities facing communities of color through the social determinants of health, showing that direct community involvement in addressing health equity was always necessary to uncover and address barriers that otherwise remained invisible until it was too late; and,
WHEREAS, Regional Health Equity Coalitions (RHECs) are autonomous, community-driven, cross-sector groups whose backbone organizations are non-governmental in nature and seek to increase health equity across the social determinants of health in determined regions inside a state; and,
WHEREAS, RHECs focus their efforts on issues impacting underserved communities of color, Native American nations, immigrants, refugees, migrant and seasonal farmworkers, low-income populations, persons with disabilities and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning communities in rural and urban areas, with communities of color, including American Indian or Alaska Native, Hispanic or Latino, Asian, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, Black or African American, Middle Eastern, as the leading priority; and,
WHEREAS, the RHEC model works by building on the inherent strengths of local communities to meaningfully involve them in identifying sustainable, long-term, policy, system and environmental solutions to increase health equity; and,
WHEREAS, the intrastate RHEC’s work with the interstate Regional Health Equity Councils created for every HHS region after the publication of the National Stakeholder Strategy for Achieving Health Equity in 2011; and,
WHEREAS, the RHEC model supports culturally specific, cross-sector strategies aimed at reducing local health disparities and promoting equity by:
- Helping diverse communities build their capacity to work with policy and decision-makers, coordinated care organizations (CCOs), and other health systems to address systemic inequities that are barriers to communities realizing their full health potential; and,
- Serving as a bridge to historically underserved and underrepresented communities; and,
- Empowering diverse groups to become involved in developing unique, culturally appropriate, and sustainable solutions to pervasive issues of inequity that impact the health outcomes and wellbeing of all Americans; and,
WHEREAS, as with all social determinants of health, the systemic disparities addressed by RHECs go beyond the healthcare system to issues of education, housing, employment, and transportation, among others.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators calls on states to support the creation, strengthening and state funding for Regional Health Equity Coalitions; and,
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators calls on states to ensure that RHECs use an approach that:
- Recognizes the impact of structural, institutional, and interpersonal racism on the health and well-being of communities of color,
- Meaningfully engages impacted communities to lead efforts, and
- Honors community wisdom by ensuring policy and system change solutions build upon community strengths.
THE NHCSL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THIS RESOLUTION ON DECEMBER 11, 2020 AT ITS FALL MEETING HELD VIA VIDEOCONFERENCE.
THE NATIONAL HISPANIC CAUCUS OF STATE LEGISLATORS UNIANIMOUSLY RATIFIED THIS RESOLUTION ON DECEMBER 11, 2020, AT THE ANNUAL MEETING HELD VIA VIDEOCONFERENCE.