Last month we celebrated the 2nd anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and all the gains we have made thanks to health care reform. This month, which is National Minority Health Month, we remember how far we still have to go in achieving health equity. With the glaring racial disparities we still face in the United States and the health challenges for so many women of color that these disparities reveal, health equity cannot wait. We must act now!
Health equity is fundamental to the NWHN’s vision of quality, affordable health care for all women. Communities of color have long suffered from lack of access to basic health services and this has resulted in dangerous and deadly health disparities. African American women are nearly four times more likely to die during childbirth than White women, reflecting differences in access to prenatal and maternity care. Vietnamese American women are five times more likely and Latinas twice as likely to develop cervical cancer as their white counterparts due to barriers to cancer screenings. And African American women have the highest breast cancer mortality rate of any race. We need a national commitment to health equity – it’s time to bring an end to these shameful disparities.
There is some good news on this front. The ACA includes important provisions that are helping us get on the right track toward health equity. Through Raising Women’s Voices for the Health Care We Need, the NWHN is sharing that good news, using our Countdown to Coverage campaign. This campaign tells the incredible true story of how the new health care law is already helping millions of women, including women of color, get the services they need to stay healthy! You can learn about the health services and protections of the ACA from the coverage checklists we’ve posted on the campaign website.
Please take a moment today to learn about how the ACA is helping women of color get the health care they need and putting this country on the road to health equity. During National Minority Health Month, help us spread the word about these advances for women of color by sharing the links to our website and coverage checklists with a woman in your life. Remember, health equity can’t wait, and women of color stand to make important gains from the advances of the ACA.
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