Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) today wrote to each member of the committee seeking input and policy suggestions to complement ongoing efforts to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities. Following several comments from committee members, which have not included specific policy ideas or solutions, Grassley is asking for input on policy and suggestions on areas of focus for the committee’s consideration.
COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on minority communities has heightened the need for action and reinforced the necessity of bipartisan work. Prior partisan attempts to address disparities, like in the Affordable Care Act, have done little to yield positive results.
“While racial and ethnic groups have seen some gains in measures of health status, the ACA has generally failed to reduce disparities as most minority groups continue to lag behind others on these measures,” Grassley wrote.
New measures could be considered alongside ongoing efforts to reduce health disparities among racial and ethnic communities, like the joint development of initiatives to improve maternal health outcomes—which disproportionately affects minority communities—and the bipartisan push to reduce prescription drug prices.
“All Americans deserve and would benefit from lower prescription drug costs, but this effort is especially important as minorities suffer from high rates of chronic diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension,” Grassley wrote.
Full text of one of Grassley’s letter can be found HERE.