Buttigieg proposes social determinants of health plan for first 100 days  

 

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg pledged to create a task force within his first 100 days in office that will be in charge of developing a federal strategy to eliminate health disparities, according to an outline released Dec. 3. 

"The impact of systemic discrimination affects the health of Americans more than what happens at a doctor's office or hospital," the South Bend, Ind., mayor's health equity plan reads. 

The National Health Equity Strategy will include identifying "Health Equity Zones," or areas with significant gaps in health along sociodemographic lines. Communities in these zones will receive federal funding to address those health disparities. Mr. Buttigieg plans to allot $5 billion to these communities over the next decade.

Also part of the strategy is a commitment to improving training for healthcare workforces to reduce the effects of bias and racism in care, and to creating grants to improve representation of minorities within the healthcare workforce. 

Another major facet of Mr. Buttigieg's strategy is what he calls a "Health in All Policies" approach, which would create Offices of Health Equity and Justice across relevant federal agencies. "We cannot replace discriminatory policies with neutral ones and expect the playing field to level itself. We must intentionally work to create an era of inclusion in health," the outline reads.

This latest plan builds on Mr. Buttigieg's main "Medicare for All Who Want It" platform, as well as his plans focused on mental health, women's health and LGBTQ+ health. 

 

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