FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - April 22, 2015
Contact: Audrey Sandusky, 202-293-3114 ext. 207

HEAL Act Could Dramatically Reduce Health Disparities in the US
Expanding health access to immigrant women and men makes smart economic sense, is good for public health

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association (NFPRHA) commends Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM) for introducing the Health Equity and Access under the Law (HEAL) for Immigrant Women and Families Act today, which would ensure timely access to affordable, confidential, high-quality family planning and sexual health services, supplies, and information for millions of vulnerable people across the country.

The bill would remove both the five-year ban that prevents immigrant populations from accessing Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), as well as the outdated and restrictive list of ‘qualified immigrants.’  The HEAL Act would also lift barriers to health coverage for those granted deferred action status, allowing individuals to access benefits available through the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

“Continuing to deny immigrant women and men access to affordable, high-quality health care, including family planning services, contributes to adverse sexual health outcomes, such as unintended pregnancy and STDs, and puts undue strain on the nation's health and economy," said Clare Coleman, President & CEO of NFPRHA.  "Given the significant unmet family planning and sexual health care needs among immigrant women, the HEAL Act is a critical step toward improving access to care for immigrant families, which in turn will help alleviate health disparities in communities across the country."

NFPRHA will continue to work with its coalition partners and congressional champions to advance the HEAL Act to help ensure all women and men have access to comprehensive health care, regardless of immigration status.

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NFPRHA represents the broad spectrum of family planning administrators and clinicians serving the nation's low-income and uninsured. NFPRHA’s more than 840 member organizations operate or fund a network of nearly 5,000 health centers and service sites that provide comprehensive family planning services to millions of low-income and uninsured or underinsured individuals in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam.

 

 

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National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association

1025 Vermont Ave. NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202-293-3114  |  info@nfprha.org

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