Jul 14, 2020
SPRINGFIELD, MA – Today, House Ways and Means Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) released a staff report, titled “Left Out: Barriers to Health Equity for Rural and Underserved Communities” that analyzes the barriers to health care in underserved communities and discusses the challenges associated with scalable and sustainable solutions. From massive geographic coverage deficiencies to structural environmental factors, the report examines the realities millions of Americans face that adversely affect their health. The report also takes a close look at how these challenges are biproducts of systemic racism and economic inequality.
“The devastating coronavirus pandemic has forced the deeply-rooted health inequities in our society to the forefront of the national conversation, making the need for solutions more urgent than ever,” Chairman Neal said. “This landmark report is an important first step in taking meaningful action toward achieving health and economic equity across our country. The Committee will draw on these findings to create policies that make optimal health a reality for all Americans and eliminate inequities based on race and geography.”
The report provides new qualitative analysis to help inform the current debate, working from the nearly 200 responses received from a Request for Information (RFI) coupled with a thorough review of recent literature. The report identifies broad social, structural, and health inequities facing both rural and urban underserved communities and should serve as a call to action for policymakers in Congress and across the country.
The full report can be found HERE.
A summary of the report is available HERE.
State-by-state health equity maps can be found HERE.