U.S. House Committee Focuses on Health Disparities

June 17, 2020

The Health Subcommittee of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing today examining racial and ethnic disparities related to COVID-19 and the healthcare system. 

During the hearing, Rep. Robin Kelly (IL-2), who is also the Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Health Brain Trust, said, “If we do not do anything about social determinants of health, we are going to revisit [disparities] with other illnesses over and over.”

Earlier this week, IHA President & CEO A.J. Wilhelmi and IHA Board Chair Phil Kambic, President & CEO of Riverside Healthcare, issued a statement on “Addressing Health Disparities.” They announced that the IHA Board will be establishing a permanent standing committee on health disparities.

The Chicago Dept. of Public Health found that as of June 16, African-American and Latino individuals accounted for more than 60% of all positive COVID-19 cases and 75% of all COVID-19 deaths in the city. Statewide, the Illinois Dept. of Public Health reported that as of June 16, African Americans and Latinos accounted for half of COVID-19 confirmed cases and deaths.