Capitol Correspondence - 05.04.21

ANCOR Joins Coalition Statement on National Minority Health Month

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As a member of the Partnership for Medicaid, ANCOR endorses the coalition’s statement seeking to raise awareness of health inequities among racial and ethnic minority populations, and supporting Medicaid initiatives that promote health equity.

“To recognize April as National Minority Health Month, the Partnership for Medicaid (Partnership) restates its commitment to raising awareness about health inequities among racial and ethnic minority populations and its support of initiatives that enable the Medicaid program to promote health equity.

As a coalition of 23 organizations committed to Medicaid, the Partnership opposes discrimination, exclusion, and disparate access to essential resources that undermine the health, well-being, and lives of people of color.

People of color make up more than half of non-elderly Medicaid enrollees, yet lag behind their white counterparts significantly in health and wellness outcomes. The current COVID-19 pandemic, which has disproportionately affected people of color, has underscored the magnitude of this problem.

To further bolster our commitment to health equity, the Partnership established a new ad-hoc committee focused on exploring policy solutions to reduce health inequities. We also worked with national leaders to continue to educate our members amid ongoing calls for racial justice and equality. These actions build upon our June 12, 2020 statement condemning racism and recognizing it as a public health crisis, highlighting the underlying role systemic bias has on health outcomes.

The federal government has recognized the importance of health equity throughout the year, beginning with an Executive Order on ensuring an equitable pandemic response and recovery, followed by the establishment of the COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force, releasing a Presidential budget that promotes health equity, and continuing with a proclamation on Black Maternal Health Week earlier this month. We are hopeful the recent statement by Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), declaring racism a serious public health threat will continue to accelerate policy solutions to this crisis. We welcome the opportunity to continue partnering with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on its equity initiatives. Last, we join with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health’s National Minority Health Month theme to ensure all communities get vaccinated through their #VaccineReady campaign to help end this pandemic.

As we close out National Minority Health Month, the Partnership will continue to prioritize health equity and reduce racial health disparities in our work to preserve and improve the Medicaid program for all beneficiaries.”