Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Posted by Partnership for Prevention at 2:30 PM
"Americans don't just want a health system that treats them when they're sick. They want a health system that works to help them stay well,” said Rob Gould, PhD, President and CEO of Partnership for Prevention. “We hope Congress recognizes what we say in this ad: that real health reform starts with prevention."
“This ad campaign conveys how health reform provides a once-in-a-lifetime chance to transform our health care system from a sick care system to one that emphasizes prevention and wellness,” said Jeff Levi, PhD, Executive Director of TFAH. “The evidence is clear that prevention is the key to better health, and that well-designed and well-implemented disease prevention programs could spare millions of Americans from needless suffering.”
The ad stresses the importance of including prevention as a central pillar of health reform. It features visuals of people riding bikes, juxtaposed with an individual in a wheelchair, underscoring that real health care must involve keeping people healthy in the first place, instead of just focusing on treating them after they get sick.
The ad copy reads:
“Americans are not as healthy as they could be or should be. High rates of preventable diseases, like heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes are one of the biggest reasons the U.S. has skyrocketing health care costs. We will continue to struggle with health care costs until we do a better job of keeping people healthier. Smart, strategic investments in proven prevention programs can have a real payoff in dollars, workforce productivity, and quality of life. With an investment of $10 per person per year in proven community-based program to increase physical activity, improve nutrition, and prevent smoking and other tobacco use, the country could save more than $16 billion annually within five years. That’s a return of $5.60 for every $1 invested. REAL Health Reform Starts with Prevention. Visit www.healthyamericans.org/prevention to learn more about how a Prevention and Public Health Fund and National Prevention Strategy should be the centerpiece of health reform.”
The return on investment figures in the ad were from TFAH’s Prevention for a Healthier America: Investments in Disease Prevention Yield Significant Savings, Stronger Communities, published in July 2008 and based on a literature review by The New York Academy of Medicine and an economic model by the Urban Institute.
Key prevention and public health provisions in the House Tri-Committee bill (the America's Affordable Health Choice Act of 2009) and Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions draft health reform bill (the Affordable Health Choices Act) include:
• The creation of a National Prevention and Wellness Strategy (House) or a National Prevention and Health Promotion Strategy (Senate) that clearly defines prevention objectives and offers a plan for addressing those priorities; and
• The establishment of a Public Health Investment Fund (House) or a Prevention and Public Health Fund (Senate), which would be financed through a mandatory appropriation to support expansion of public health functions and services that surround, support, and strengthen the health care delivery system. The Fund would support core governmental public health functions, population level non-clinical prevention and wellness programs, workforce training and development, disparity issues, and public health research to improve the science base of prevention efforts.
• First-dollar coverage of clinical preventive services provided by Medicaid, with deductibles and co-pays prohibited.
The ad is available on TFAH’s Web site at: www.healthyamericans.org and additional information about prevention and public health in health reform is available at www.healthyamericans.org/prevention.
Additional information about the Partnership for Prevention’s ongoing REAL Health Reform Starts with Prevention initiative is available on their Web site at http://www.prevent.org/ .