Payne Co-Hosts CBC Special Order Hour: "The State of Black Health"

Apr 14, 2015 Issues: Health Care

On April 13, 2015, Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. joined Congresswoman Robin Kelly in co-hosting the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Special Order Hour. The topic was "The State of Black Health: A CBC Assessment During National Minority Health Month." Below are Congressman Payne, Jr.’s opening remarks and video:

I want to start by thanking Congresswoman Kelly for co-anchoring this special order hour with me.

Thanks also to the members of the Congressional Black Caucus here tonight.

And a special thanks to the folks tuning in from home.

It truly is an honor to speak directly to you—to fight on your behalf and to advance our shared priorities.

And that is why we’re here tonight, and every Monday night this House is in session. To address the diverse issues affecting African-American communities throughout our nation. To let you know that we are here fighting for you.

This month is National Minority Health Month, a chance to evaluate the state of black health. A chance to address health disparities affecting racial minorities and speak to efforts to advance health equity.

Today, African-American and other minority populations lag behind in numerous health areas, including access to and quality of care, timeliness of care, and health outcomes.

These disparities have devastating impacts on individuals and families, but also on our communities and our society as a whole.

There are numerous factors that contribute to health disparities throughout New Jersey’s Tenth District and our nation—poverty, environmental threats, inadequate access to health care, and educational inequities.

These are such interconnected issues that a piecemeal plan to fixing the problem will not work.

A comprehensive approach—one that focuses on providing access to quality care for all, creating good jobs that provide a decent living, and increasing educational opportunities for low-income communities—is the only way to eliminate health disparities once and for all.