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New Jersey Health Care for America Now, NJ Citizen Action andHealth/ Civil Rights Advocates to Detail Health Disparities and Emphasize Opportunity for Equality in Reform Legislation


Camden, NJ – On Wednesday, July 15, 2009, the NJ Health Care for America Now (HCAN) Campaign will hold a Press Conference at 11:00 a.m. in Room 109 at the Statehouse in Trenton, NJ, to release a new report showing how communities of color are adversely affected by our nation’s broken health care system and suggest ways comprehensive health care reform will correct this inequality and injustice.


“Unequal Lives: Health Care Discrimination Harms Communities of Color in NJ” will explain how the nation’s more than 103 million people of color suffer disproportionately in our health care system, and Wednesday’s release will explain how legislation under consideration in Congress would offer one of the best opportunities since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965 to erase persistent health disparities.


Representatives from the NJ HCAN Coalition including NJ Citizen Action, Democracia Ahora, and NJ Policy Perspective will be presenting the reports findings. The report will detail health disparities, including how shorter life expectancies, chronic illnesses, and disabilities more often plague communities of color because of narrower opportunities for regular health services, fewer treatment options, and lower-quality care.  For example, overall life expectancy for African Americans in New Jersey is 6 to 10 years shorter than that of Caucasians, and approximately 40 percent of Hispanics and 21 percent of African Americans in NJ are uninsured, compared with 11 percent of Caucasians.


 “Unequal Lives” also offers recommendations to erase racial and ethnic health care disparities, including the call for an affordable benefit package that provides a defined, comprehensive set of age- and gender-appropriate services that promote health in a linguistically and culturally competent manner.


WHO: .  NJ HCAN Campaign partners including James Woodson and Eve Weissman for NJ Citizen Action, Rafael Collazo, National Deputy Director for Democracia Ahora, and Raymond Castro, Senior Policy Analyst for New Jersey Policy Perspectives

WHAT: Press Conference to release “Unequal Lives: Health Care Discrimination Harms Communities of Color in New Jersey” report

WHEN: Wednesday, July 15, 2009 at 11:00 a.m. at the Statehouse in Trenton, Room 109


NJ HCAN Campaign Partners:  1199 SEIU Health Care Workers East, AFSCME Council 1, Alliance for Disabled in Action, Inc., BlueWave NJ, CWA District One, CWA Local 1032, Grassroots4Change, Family Voices, Garden State Equality, Health Care for All – NJ, Hispanic Directors Association of NJ, Lutheran Office of Governmental Ministries , New Jersey Citizen Action, New Labor, NEXT STEP, North Jersey Grassroots, South Jersey Grassroots, Women’s Opportunity Center, Planned Parenthood Affiliates NJ, Statewide Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN), NJ Region of the Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring, New Jersey Education Association, Health Professional and Allied Employees (HPAE), NJCA Education Fund, National Association of Social Workers, New Jersey State AFL-CIO, New Jersey Partnership for Working Families, Democracia Ahora NJ, NJ West Hudson Valley Council Union for Reform Judaism




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