Reps. Gomez, Demings, and Soto Introduce the Jeanette Acosta Invest in Women’s Health Act of 2018

July 16, 2018
Press Release

Today, Congressman Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), Congresswoman Val Demings (FL-10), and Congressman Darren Soto (FL-9) announced the introduction of H.R. 6315, the Jeanette Acosta Invest in Women’s Health Act of 2018. The bill – named after a former Hill staffer and White House intern who lost her battle with cervical cancer last year – would create new grants to expand preventative health care services, improve specialty training for treating low-income and women of color, and require the Department of Health and Human Services to conduct research to better understand and address the health care needs of women across the country.

Last week, Congressman Gomez and Congressman Soto, Planned Parenthood, the Black Women’s Health Imperative, and Human Rights Watch briefed congressional staff and stakeholder groups about this new legislation. The full briefing can be viewed here.  

“Despite the progress made by the Affordable Care Act to address our country’s glaring health care gap, far too many women of color and those battling poverty still face obstacles in accessing quality prevention health services,” said Congressman Gomez. “Not only would the Jeanette Acosta Invest in Women’s Health Act help local safety net providers like Planned Parenthood alleviate such disparities, but it would also ensure the most vulnerable among us have access to life-saving cancer screenings and critical education resources. I can’t think of a better way to honor Jeanette’s memory than helping secure healthy outcomes for generations of women in rural and underserved communities across America.”

“One of the main factors that contributes to the higher cancer death rates among women, in particular women of color, is access to early detection screenings and treatment,” said Congressman Darren Soto. “We can and must reverse this trend. That’s why I joined colleagues in supporting the Jeanette Acosta Invest in Women’s Health Act and urge the House to pass this bill. This legislation increases funding for healthcare providers to expand access to preventive cancer screenings, ultimately helping to save lives.”  

“Cancer does not discriminate based on gender, race, or income, but access to preventative care, screenings, and early interventions is another story,” said Congresswoman Val Demings. “The Jeanette Acosta Invest in Women’s Health Act would help close this gap and increase access to life-saving care, particularly for low-income women and women of color. Dr. King said that ‘of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and inhumane.’ I call on my colleagues to pass this bill and fund the first-ever federal grant program specifically targeted to correct this inhumane injustice.”