Jul 29, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Rep. Cheri Bustos: Communities know what's best to improve social determinants of health

Axios reporter Caitlin Owens and Rep. Cheri Bustos during Thursday's event.

Photo: Axios

Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) said at at Axios event Thursday that she's calling on local communities to help Congress address "negative social determinants" like food deserts or unsafe housing.

Why it matters: Social determinants are social factors that harm long-term health. Bustos, who introduced the Social Determinants Accelerator Act, wants local communities to tell Congress directly what they need to tackle problems.

What she's saying: "The idea is that we do this call to action, people get back in touch with us, we use that to write future legislation," Bustos said.

  • "But the whole idea of the $153 million is that we say 'communities, tell us what your problems are, apply for this money, use this money to investigate the root cause of this and then use this money to help fight the negative social determinants,'" she added.
  • "It's not just doing this so-called 'let's study this,'" she said. "You know how that works in Congress, there's a lot of 'let's just study this.' This $153 million goes beyond that. It's let's study it and then let's tackle it."

Watch the full event here.

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