Florida bill will create health equity liaison in each county
A bill in Florida would require each county to have a dedicated minority health liaison to ensure health equity across the state. The liaison would be responsible for making sure counties are implementing statewide policies relating to health equity.
Senate Bill 404, filed by Sen. Darryl Rouson, and the identical House Bill 183, by Rep. Kamia Brown, were filed earlier this week. The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services will discuss and vote on the bill Wednesday.
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The bill will also require the Florida Office of Minority Health and Health Equity to coordinate with established health liaisons and county level health departments to address disparities. The office will gather data and publish reports health equity at the state and county levels. It will also identify areas in need of improvement.
Across the country, the COVID-19 pandemic exposed a lack of equity in health care. One in every 1,000 Black Americans died of COVID-19 in 2020. Black Americans are 1.4 times more likely to be infected with COVID-19 and 2.8 times more likely to die of it.
Non-Hispanic Black Americans are also five times more likely to suffer infant mortality than white Americans.
Florida’s two-month long legislative session begins on March 2.