NAACP LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES FOR THE 108TH CONGRESS
In accordance with our mandate to secure the enhancement and protection of civil rights for all Americans, the NAACP Washington Bureau has identified several legislative issues that are important to our membership and that we will be pursuing vigorously over the next two years. These issues are outlined below. For further information on any or all of the issues listed below, please feel free to contact the Washington Bureau at (202) 638-2269, or look for our “Action Alerts” on the web at www.naacp.org.
(31) UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE ACCESS: Our nation’s health care system is failing millions of Americans every year. It costs too much, covers too little and excludes too many. Currently, one seventh of all Americans, 42 million people, lack insurance and suffer unnecessary illness and premature death. In fact, despite being first in spending, the World Health Organization has ranked the United States 37 th among all nations in terms of meeting the health care needs of its people.
For ethnic minority Americans, the picture is even bleaker. Despite the numerous advances that have been made in health care over the decades, racial and ethnic minority Americans continue to suffer disproportionately from many severe health problems and have higher mortality rates than whites for many treatable health conditions. For example, diabetes strikes African Americans 70% more often than Caucasian Americans; Hispanic Americans twice as often as whites. The diabetes rate for Native Americans is even higher, striking members of this community 180% more often than Caucasian Americans. Furthermore, African Americans are 40% more likely to die from coronary heart disease and 35% more likely to die from cancer than whites.
In order to address the lack of adequate access to health care overall, Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) has introduced H.R. 676, the United States National Health Insurance Act (USNHIA)?.
H.R. 676, the United States National Health Insurance Act creates a single-payer national health care system in all America; a federally financed but privately delivered health care system. Under the USNHIA, all residents in America and the US territories would receive health care coverage, and have their choice of physicians and providers. Health care in America would no longer be an employer based health insurance system, i.e., you would receive health insurance and health care services regardless of your ability to pay, your employment status, or your health status. Under USNHIA all Americans would be guaranteed, by law, access to affordable and accessible high quality health care services.