Policy Statement: Health
The National Urban League advocates the following position on health:
Disparities in healthcare cost our nation more than $82B dollars in lost economic activity. This cost is borne overwhelmingly by African-Americans in higher health care spending, and, tragically, significantly higher levels of illness, disability, and death.
The National Urban League believes that improving health outcomes is a vital component to building economic empowerment. Healthy individuals live longer and have a better quality of life; and this directly benefits their families, communities and ultimately the nation. Through our work in health policy we seek to reach the goal that Every American has access to quality and affordable health care solutions. We focus our health policy work on the following areas:
Full and timely implementation of the historic Affordable Care Act
Providing access to quality and affordable health care for all, pro"moting community-based prevention efforts, and expanding Medicaid to our most vulnerable citizens, the ACA will play a pivotal role in reducing the human cost of these disparities.
We also urge the federal government to work to incentivize Medicaid expansion to every state and we stand ready to educate voters and advocate in the states to ensure that the Affordable Care Act is implemented with Medicaid expansion intact.
Eliminate Health Disparities
The elimination of health disparities is a moral and economic issue for our nation. Health disparities create an economic burden on society and African Americans bear the largest portion of these costs. The implementation of the Affordable Care Act, which NUL strongly supported, will help address health disparities.
Develop a Diverse and Culturally Competent Health Workforce
By 2050, people of color are projected to account for a majority of the U.S. population. Preparing a workforce that can communicate effectively with diverse populations is important to ensure better health outcomes and to eliminate health disparities. Growing the number of community health workers and building cultural competency across the health workforce will help ready the nation for the demographic shifts.
Prevent Hunger and Increase Access to Healthy Foods
Food insecurity and the inability to access healthy food options affect health outcomes. African Americans are disproportionately affected by poverty and food insecurity and are more likely to be overweight or obese, as compared to other populations. NUL supports SNAP and other programs that help families access food and is developing policy solutions and community interventions that create healthy environments for communities of color.