On the Record: What Caucus Members Have Said About SDOH
The COVID-19 pandemic exposed many deep disparities in our health system and greatly exacerbated the already persistent barriers to health that many families in Illinois and across our country face, such as a lack of access to fresh foods, affordable health care and safe housing to name just a few. The Social Determinants of Health Caucus will serve as a platform for Congress and community leaders to come together to put forward the solutions we need to finally tackle these longstanding issues at the root. I’m pleased to join my bipartisan Co-Chairs Cole, Butterfield and Mullin today to launch this key initiative and foster strong partnerships moving forward.
– Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, Co-Chair
I am delighted to join my colleagues in the Congressional Social Determinants of Health Caucus to develop strategies to address factors that adversely impact health outcomes and improve the well-being of Americans. By focusing on these non-medical factors, we can work toward a healthier population and more efficient spending of federal and state health care dollars.
– Congressman Tom Cole, Co-Chair
There is no denying there is a health disparities crisis in our country. Patients in minority, rural, and underserved communities experience higher incidences of disease and worse health outcomes than their peers. We know there isn’t a single cause for this disparity, but rather, many factors that contribute to the health of an individual. Congress must take a holistic, whole-person approach when considering policy solutions to address health disparities. I am proud to join my fellow co-chairs to launch the Social Determinants of Health Caucus, which will serve as a hub for collaboration and evidenced-based information sharing as Congress considers policy solutions to address these important issues.
– Congressman G. K. Butterfield, Co-Chair
Quality health care is more than just treating an illness, ailment, or chronic condition. Social determinants, or non-medical contributors, of health are an important part of our strategy to improve overall health and wellbeing of Americans. In order to improve health outcomes in the long run, we must look at the full picture of patients’ lives and address these social determinants of health. I am proud to join my colleagues in forming this caucus to work towards solutions that improve health care for all Americans.
– Congressman Markwayne Mullin, Co-Chair
Covid-19 is more than a public health crisis. It tells a larger story about the deeper inequalities and injustices of American society — the digital divide, a lack of access to fresh food, lack of income, housing insecurity, severe overcrowding, lack of access to health care, pre-existing conditions — all of these are manifestations of systemic racism.
– Congressman Ritchie Torres on NBC News
This is a matter of helping the communities find the tools, the resources, and have the funding to make and implement a plan to address local challenges. That’s really what this is all about.
– Congresswoman Cheri Bustos
Research shows that the conditions where people live, learn, work, and play, also known as the social determinants of health, play an outsized role in health outcomes and cost. We also know that this is particularly true for children. The impact of social determinants can be felt by our young people through lifelong consequences for their health and well-being. Addressing social determinants of health that affect children can reduce unnecessary use of resources, lead to better outcomes for chronic diseases, such as asthma, and set young Americans up for healthier lives as adults. Some State Medicaid programs are implementing strategies to do this under existing Medicaid authority, but there is not clear guidance on what states can do. There is an opportunity for more states to address social determinants in Medicaid and CHIP by leveraging existing and waiver authorities.
– Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester at House Energy & Commerce Committee, Health Subcommittee Legislative Hearing
It’s a fact that chronic diseases such as diabetes and obesity affect communities of color and poor people at a higher rate. That is why it’s vital we work to make nutritious food accessible in schools, encourage our young people to remain active, and develop good eating habits they can practice throughout their lives.
– Congressman Marc Veasey on a resolution he introduced to address health disparities
COVID19 has shined a stark spotlight on just how deep the racial inequalities in our nation go. As we rebuild our communities, we must also address the underlying social determinants of health and education that have unjustly plagued communities of color for decades.
– Congressman Joseph Morelle on Twitter
As a former chief psychiatric nurse, I am especially concerned with how mental health disparities among communities of color have worsened because of the lack of culturally tailored resources. For that reason, I am proud to reintroduce the Strengthening Mental Health Supports for BIPOC Communities Act with my colleagues Reps. Cárdenas and Soto. This critical legislation would increase our federal investments in mental health services for minority communities across the country.
– Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson on the Strengthening Mental Health Supports for BIPOC Communities Act