April 26, 2022

Schiff Lauds Introduction of Health Equity and Accountability Act

Today, Congressman Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) joined Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-Ill.) and members of the Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus in introducing the Health Equity and Accountability Act, a comprehensive legislative package to eliminate the obstacles to health access that bar equitable care.

Schiff is an original co-sponsor of the legislation, which includes large portions of two of his signature health policy bills: the Equal Health Care for All Act to address racial inequities in America’s health care system, and the PrEP Coverage and Access Act to expand access and eliminate barriers to lifesaving HIV prevention medication.

“Everyone deserves access to affordable, equitable health care, no matter who they are, who they love, or where they’re from. But for generations, America’s health care system has failed millions of people because of systemic barriers that stem directly from those biases. And two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re still seeing how catastrophic these barriers are for communities that have been excluded from resources and opportunity in this country,” said Schiff. “I applaud Congresswoman Kelly and the Black, Hispanic, and Asian Pacific American caucuses for their inspiring leadership on this issue for nearly two decades.”

HEAA builds on gains made under the Affordable Care Act and lays out a vision of additional investments Congress can make to enhance the health and well-being of systemically marginalized and underserved communities, address health inequities, and ensure access to high-quality and affordable health care.

HEAA includes large portions of two of Schiff’s signature bills:

  • The Equal Health Care for All Act HEAA includes three key sections of Schiff’s bicameral legislation to address racial inequities in America’s health care system, including by making equitable medical care a protected civil right, establishing the Office for Civil Rights and Health Equity at the Department of Health and Human Services to receive and investigate discrimination complaints, and creating a Federal Health Equity Commission to investigate, monitor, and report on the progress of health equity and elimination of health disparities.
  • The PrEP Coverage and Access Act – HEAA includes the entirety of Schiff’s bill to expand access to lifesaving HIV prevention medications PrEP and PEP by eliminating out-of-pocket costs, establishing a public health awareness campaign to increase utilization among at-risk individuals, and creating a grant program for states and community health care facilities to expand access to the medication.

Since 2003, HEAA has been introduced by the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, the Congressional Black Caucus, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. More than 300 racial and health equity organizations, researchers, provider groups, and community-based organizations have contributed to the development of HEAA since its inception.

For more information on the Health Equity and Accountability Act, click here.