This paper focuses on the legislative and oversight activities of the U.S. Congress from 1990 to 1995—a period of significant activity on the issue of access to health care for underserved and minority populations—and examines a three-step process leading to the development of federal policy on language barriers to health care. The paper begins with an overview of the initial legislation developed on language access to health care and an analysis of its implementation, followed by a review of a congressional inquiry into key federal and state policy activities on language access that formed the basis for the final step of additional legislative actions in 1994. Finally, conclusions are forwarded regarding the potential and limitations of government mechanisms in reducing language barriers.


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pp. S81-S100
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