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Who We Are. What We Do.

The Health Equity Coalition for Chronic Disease (HECCD) believes that all people deserve the best possible health care. Continuing to allow outdated coverage policies to restrict access for communities dependent on public programs is counter to the principles of health equity. 

The Health Equity Coalition on Chronic Disease’s mission is to ensure that community experts, policy makers, providers, and other stakeholders work together to eliminate barriers to healthcare for communities of color, especially as related to access to care and treatment for obesity and other chronic diseases.

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Obesity Care Now is the coalition’s first-year initiative, focused on eliminating barriers to healthcare for communities of color to access to care and treatment for obesity.

Obesity is an epidemic, but it doesn’t have to be. Despite being a preventable and treatable disease, nearly 1-in-3 Americans live with obesity — affecting Black and Latino adults at a higher rate. As more contagious COVID variants emerge, obesity is one of the most dire health equity issues facing our nation.

Outdated Medicare laws put comprehensive care out of reach for people living with obesity, by excluding FDA-approved anti-obesity medications from Medicare Part D coverage. Yet, this has life or death consequences. The evidence is clear: obesity is a chronic disease that requires medical treatment. It’s time we act that way.

The Obesity Care Now campaign is leading the fight to modernize Medicare policies and allow it to provide obesity care now.

Join Us. Take Action.

Grassroots momentum is growing to provide Obesity Care Now but we need your help to turn this energy into action. Join us by calling on Congress to address health inequity and increase access to comprehensive obesity care.

  • Over 42 percent of Americans are living with obesity.
  • Nearly 50% of Black and Latinx Americans are living with obesity. As a result, they are also nearly three times as likely to be hospitalized for severe cases of COVID-19 than white people.
  • 34.2% of rural Americans live with obesity compared to 28.7% of those who live in metropolitan cities.
  • 78% of people who were hospitalized, placed on a ventilator or died from COVID-19 were overweight or live with obesity.
  • Reducing the U.S. obesity rate by 25% would have resulted in 120,000 fewer COVID-19 hospitalizations, 45,000 fewer ICU admissions, and 65,000 deaths.
  • Obesity is associated with over $170 billion in excess medical costs per year, with the highest costs occurring for adults 60-70.

Despite this devastating crisis, people hold an outdated — and dangerous — view of obesity, assuming it is simply an issue of individual behaviors rather than a disease.

 Learn the Facts About Obesity Care.

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