Health Equity Accelerator Policy Agenda

Boston Medical Center is committed to dismantling structural racism and addressing race-related health disparities and the root causes of racial inequities. In addition to our longstanding commitment to addressing the social determinants of health, housing insecurity, and addiction, BMC has identified the following policy areas and legislation to focus its state and federal advocacy efforts: 

  • Maternal Health Justice
  • Economic Justice
  • Environmental Justice

Maternal Health Justice

In the United States, Black women are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications compared to white women. To address this inequity, BMC urges swift legislative action supports: 

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS POLICY FOCUS
H.2372/S.1475, An Act relative to Medicaid coverage for doula services
Doulas provide important physical and emotional support to expecting birthing people that can improve birth outcomes. Providing MassHealth coverage for doula services could improve maternal health, particularly for low income and birthing people of color.

FEDERAL POLICY FOCUS
H.R.959/S.346, Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act
This package of bills addresses multiple dimensions of the maternal health crisis in America through increased investment in housing and food, addiction and mental health treatment, perinatal care, and more to support low-income women and women of color during pregnancy and postpartum. 

Economic Justice

Underserved communities in Boston are disproportionately at risk for exposure to environmental health hazards, which correlate to higher rates of asthma, cardiovascular disease, lead poisoning, and low birthweight infants among people living in these areas.

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS POLICY FOCUS
H.1099/S.662, An Act relative to savings enabling prosperity
Expands matched savings account programs, which are proven tools combining financial education and incentives to help low-income people build wealth

H.2871/S.1886, An Act to increase family stabilization through the earned income tax credit & S.1852, An Act providing a guaranteed minimum income to all Massachusetts families
Supports working families by increasing the state Earned Income Tax Credit match, expanding access to immigrant families, and transforming the tax credit into a guaranteed minimum income for our lowest income families

FEDERAL POLICY FOCUS
Working Families Tax Relief Act

Makes permanent the enhanced Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit temporarily authorized in the American Rescue Plan

H.R.835/S.222, American Opportunity Accounts Act
Provides federally-funded interest-bearing savings accounts for every child at birth and annual deposits of up to $2,000 depending on household income

Environmental Justice

Underserved communities in Boston are disproportionately at risk for exposure to environmental health hazards, which correlate to higher rates of asthma, cardiovascular disease, lead poisoning, and low birthweight infants among people living in these areas.

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS POLICY FOCUS
In wake of recent environmental justice victories in the newly enacted climate bill, BMC will work to ensure these important provisions are properly implemented in addition to following new efforts to protect those most disproportionately impacted by environmental hazards.

FEDERAL POLICY FOCUS
H.R.516/S.101, Environmental Justice Mapping and Data Collection Act
Establishes a high-quality data system to identify environmental justice communities and target future federal investments
 

Contact Us

Any questions about our Commonwealth of Massachusetts policy agenda? Please contact Andrea Pessolano at [email protected] or 617.638.6729

Any questions about our federal policy agenda? Contact David Opp, Government Affairs Manager at [email protected] or 978.424.8315.