On June 21, 2024, U.S. Senators Laphonza Butler (D-CA) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) announced the introduction of their Health Equity Innovation Act of 2024, which intends to address racial disparities in health outcomes by expanding access to preventative health care in underserved communities.  

The bill would establish a new grant program to provide federal funding to faith- and community-based organizations located in federally designated Medically Underserved Areas and Health Professional Shortage Areas -- geographic areas and populations that have limited access to primary care services. Grants would help cover the cost of providing preventative care—including free or low-cost health screenings, vaccinations, family planning services, and mental health services, hiring community health workers, and expanding capacity. Senators Gillibrand and Butler, along with Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA), and Alex Padilla (D-CA), requested $50 million for this program to be included in the Fiscal Year 2025 government funding bill.