The legislation is designed to close the health care system gaps that have left behind minorities and underserved communities.
According to a statement from Congressman Anthony G. Brown (MD-04), the bill creates incentives to improve health care access, public health and attract health care practitioners to work in health-disadvantaged communities.
“The Health Enterprise Zones Act will be of great help in the communities served by our seven Pipeline Health hospitals in each of our three states,” said Pipeline Health Co-President Nick Orzano.
“We are proud to provide quality care in these safety net hospitals that are critical to the health and wellness of diverse communities of individuals who are often short-changed by our health care system, and we applaud Congressman Brown’s dedication to addressing these issues.”
Along with Congressman Brown, the act is sponsored by: Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (MD-05), Congresswoman Terri Sewell (AL-07), Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster (NH-02), Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-AL), Congresswoman Robin Kelly (IL-02) and Congressman Tony Cárdenas (CA-29).
Data shows the COVID-19 virus has had a disproportionate impact on communities of color, in line with other public health concerns. People of color are more likely to be uninsured and are at a higher risk of asthma, hypertension, heart disease and diabetes. Decades of implicit racial bias and systemic issues embedded in our health care system have put communities of color around the country at a disadvantage.
Increasing services available to low-income communities, reducing the number of hospital visits and lowering healthcare costs for individuals and healthcare providers are directly connected with better health outcomes for those that have been neglected for generations.