Garcia Garners Support for Health Equity Bill

Special to the Independent

State Representative Judith Garcia of Chelsea delivered a compelling address in support of her bill “An Act to Advance Health Equity” at the legislative briefing.. In front of a crowded room, Rep. Garcia spoke about the urgent need to address the disparities marginalized groups face in health care and right the wrongs of the current system. “Access to quality healthcare should not be determined by one’s ZIP code, income level, or ethnicity; most people seem to agree on this, yet the disparities persist. Marginalized communities like Chelsea and Everett continue to bear the brunt of inadequate healthcare access and suffer disproportionately from preventable diseases,” Garcia said. Rep. Garcia has firsthand experience witnessing the impact of healthcare inequities on her constituents in Chelsea and Everett, motivating her unwavering commitment to driving change on this critical issue.

Rep. Bud Williams, Rep. Judith Garcia, Senator Liz Miranda, and Senator Pavel Payano.

“An Act to Advance Health Equity,” co-lead by Rep. Garcia and Chair Bud Williams in the House of Representative and Senators Liz Miranda and Pavel Payano in the Senate, supports the equal opportunity for everyone in Massachusetts to live in good health. Despite the world-class healthcare offered in Massachusetts, there are major differences in access to quality, affordable care. This health equity bill will improve our communities’ access and quality of care by providing MassHealth coverage for all eligible, regardless of immigration status; hold our health systems accountable by directing state agencies to report publicly on data to identify disparities; and make our government more equitable by creating an Executive Office of Equity, led by the first-ever Secretary of Equity.

Rep. Garcia and her fellow sponsors are proud to partner with the Health Equity Compact (the “Compact”) on this bill. The Compact is a group of over 80 leaders of color who aim to advance health equity together in Massachusetts. Compact members are high-level executives and experts from a diverse set of health, business, labor, and philanthropic organizations, including hospitals, health centers, payers, academic institutions, and public health. We bring our lived experience, expertise, and commitment to our work to advance health equity.

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