Dean Endorses The Healthcare Equality and Accountability Act of 2003

Mason City, IA, October 21, 2003

MASON CITY, IA—Governor Howard Dean today applauded the introduction by Representative Elijah E. Cummings and others in Congress of The Healthcare Equality and Accountability Act of 2003, which is designed to address the health disparities affecting minority communities.

“I wholeheartedly endorse the agenda put forth by Representative Cummings - it is long overdue. Our country has for too long accepted that there are two levels of care available. We can and must do better. The Healthcare Equality and Accountability Act of 2003 is a clear and concise road map on how best to right these wrongs.

“Overcoming racial health disparities begins with eliminating insurance disparities. Today, over half of the Americans who lack health insurance are racial and ethnic minorities. Experience has taught us that, absent health coverage, minorities are less likely to visit a doctor and take advantage of opportunities for preventive care that leads to early diagnoses of illnesses when they're most easily treatable. For lack of health insurance, minority Americans often rely on expensive and ineffective hospital emergency rooms for routine care and are less likely to seek out specialized care when required. We can and must do better. Based on my success closing health insurance gaps as a governor, I have proposed a plan to offer health coverage for every American.

“Congress now has before it a plan which will address one of the crucial issues in health care. It is my hope that Congress acts on this legislation now. However, if it has not passed before I become President I will be pleased to work along side the Congressional Black Caucus to move the legislation forward and to my desk.”

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