Marquee plugs in ‘Green Deal’ healthcare plans | News

BOSTON — US Senator Ed Markey touts a new proposal calling for spending hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade to address climate change and its impact on economic inequality and access to healthcare. there is

A Democratic-led proposal announced last month would provide significant increases in federal funding to community health centers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, as part of a broader effort to improve access to healthcare for “those who:” is required. -served” community.

Markey said the proposal is an attempt to address “simultaneous crises” of climate change, social and economic inequalities and barriers to healthcare.

“This is a crisis,” Democrats said Wednesday in remarks streamed live at a Lawrence clinic as local officials watched. “Frontline communities are suffering from the effects of climate change, and the pandemic is putting health systems at risk.”

The plan calls for spending $130 billion over five years for community health centers, such as the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, through the existing Federal Community Health Center Fund. Grants will be given priority to “underserved” communities.

It will also spend $100 billion over 10 years on expanding community health workers and $90 in climate and health education and training grants for health workers, including doctors, nurses, midwives and other health professionals. It plans to spend $100 million, Markey said.

Markey plans to spend another $5 billion annually on scientific research into solutions and innovations for the “climate and health crisis.”

The plan also revives New Deal-era programs by authorizing $100 billion in federal grants to public and nonprofit health facilities seeking to improve climate resilience and disaster mitigation efforts. It is also required to let

Markey didn’t say how the multi-billion dollar plan would be paid for, but the investments will help soften the impacts of climate change, make health care systems more equitable and address the impacts of climate change. argued that it was necessary in order to be able to A warming earth.

Proponents of the bill cite data showing that an estimated 100 million Americans lack access to primary health care, by contrast, 90 percent of the nation’s residents have This contrasts with other studies that have shown that people live in areas that have been hit by “climate disasters” for years.

He noted that at least 40% live in counties that will face climate change in 2021, and more than 600 hospitals across the country are at risk of closing.

Michael Curry, president and CEO of the Massachusetts Federation of Community Health Centers, is among those who support Markey’s proposal. He said there is a direct relationship between public health in low-income areas and minority communities and worsening impacts of climate change.

“Some people may wonder about healthcare and climate change. Isn’t that a strange combination?” he said at Wednesday’s event. “But in reality they are closely related.”

Indeed, the new bill is separate from Markey’s signature “Green New Deal” environmental proposal, which was resubmitted for the fourth time in April with New York State Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The proposal failed to garner significant support in the Capitol, with financial watchdogs criticizing its hefty price tag and the lack of an offer to pay for it.

Christian M. Wade covers the Massachusetts State House for the Boston Media Group newspaper and website upstate. Please send an email to

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