April 19, 2018
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Caucus Releases Letter to President Outlining Healthcare Priorities





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CBC Releases Letter
on Healthcare Priorities

Monday, June 08, 2009

Contact : J. Jioni Palmer

Washington D.C. – Today, the Congressional Black Caucus Health and Wellness Taskforce released a letter sent to President Barack Obama outlining priorities they would like to see included in healthcare reform legislation. The letter read as follows:


June 5, 2009



The Honorable Barack Obama

President, United States of America

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

WashingtonDC 20500



Dear President Obama:


As the Members of Congress who disproportionately represent the men, women and children who are under- and uninsured, and whose health, wellness and thus life opportunities have suffered because of the numerous gaps in our nation’s health care system, we thank you for taking the bold step to tackle comprehensive health care reform.


The United States is the only industrialized nation in the world that does not provide universal health care. In a nation with 46 million uninsured individuals, it is time we put in place high quality comprehensive care for all. As we develop healthcare reform legislation, a public health insurance plan like Medicare must be included in order to guarantee equal access to quality affordable healthcare for everyone.


President Obama, the release of the 2008 National Healthcare Disparities Report confirmed what we have known for the last several decades: that racial and ethnic disparities in health and health care persist, and have a detrimental impact on the health and well being of people of color across the United States and in the U.S. Territories.   Despite the grim statistics in the report, however, we have a rare and unique opportunity in the weeks ahead to adequately address the status quo and change the trends reflected in the recent Disparities Report. 


We, therefore, are writing to respectfully, yet firmly urge you to ensure that efforts to reform the nation’s health care system integrate aggressive solutions to the nation’s current plight with pervasive health disparities; solutions such as those included in the Congressional TriCaucus’s health equity legislation, which will be introduced next week.  Additionally, because recent reports show that only 20% of health disparities can be attributed to health insurance status, we strongly urge you to support health care reform efforts that go beyond just eliminating uninsurance and reducing costs, and that include provisions that address the root causes of all health inequities.  


We, like you, share a keen interest in ensuring that as we work together to reform the nation’s health care system, that we do so in a manner that truly transforms it into one that serves all Americans appropriately, consistently and equitably, regardless of their racial and ethnic background, gender, geography, language preference or sexual orientation.  As such, we strongly believe that this overarching goal will elude us unless health equity is an integral component of health reform.  Thus, we are keenly interested in ensuring that you and your office consider us allies and partners, and actively engage us in the health care reform debate and negotiations process, so that together we may seize this unique time in our nation’s history to ensure that the pervasive and problematic disparities in health and health care that exist are significantly reduced, if not eliminated altogether.


We appreciate your attention to this request and look forward to hearing from you soon.





With warm regards,



Congresswoman Barbara Lee

Chair, Congressional Black Caucus


Congresswoman Donna M. Christensen

Co-Chair, CBC Health and Wellness Task Force


Congressman Danny K. Davis

Co-Chair, CBC Health and Wellness Task Force

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