U.S. Sen. Patty Murray has long been a reliable champion for the people of Washington state, particularly when it comes to access to health care. But with a generational opportunity to make a transformational investment in our health care now under assault in Washington, D.C., Sen. Murray has been uncharacteristically quiet.

The Build Back Better plan offers the most consequential package of investments in the social infrastructure of our country since the 1960s, including measures that would improve and expand health care access for millions of people living on low incomes. Sen. Murray played a key role in getting the Build Back Better agenda through the Senate, but when promoting the many important social investments included in this bill, she seems to be holding back on championing its vital health care provisions.

This is a matter of racial equity, as Black Americans are still far more likely to be uninsured than their white counterparts and pay a far larger percentage of their income on health care costs. With Democrats now paring down Biden’s plan to try to get it passed, we need to know Murray will stand up as she always has and make sure these health care provisions are preserved.

Carolyn Riley-Payne, president, Seattle King County NAACP, a sponsor organization of Health Care Is a Human Right WA