NACDD Makes Recommendations for Congressional Health Reform Efforts

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The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) released a white paper today, outlining recommendations for the 111th Congress, as it looks for meaningful ways to reform the health care system. Its recommendation: focusing on improving public health infrastructure.

The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) released a white paper today, outlining recommendations for the 111th Congress, as it looks for meaningful ways to reform the health care system. Its recommendation: focusing on improving public health infrastructure.

"Both President-elect Obama and the 111th Congress face significant challenges as we enter a new year, and we commend them both for promising to make health reform a priority," said John Robitscher, NACDD Executive Director. "Our recommendations outline why chronic disease prevention must be the first place where they focus their efforts, and where specifically to begin."

The paper offers three recommendations to President-elect Obama and the 111th Congress:

  •     Provide $3 billion to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at CDC to enhance support for state-based chronic disease prevention and control, including funding for community and prevention research centers in every state for every stage of life.
  •     Provide $500 million to support the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant to build public health infrastructure and workforce to combat chronic disease.
  •     Provide $250 million to enhance the CDC Public Health Laboratory capacity to conduct research and educate Americans about nutrition and the prevention and control of chronic diseases.

Under each of these recommendations, the group outlines why further investment in these public programs will prove cost-effective in the long-term.

"This paper outlines critical opportunities in health care reform, and why it is essential that, at this juncture, our leaders realize that chronic disease prevention is a required component of any successful reform efforts," said Donald Lyman, M.D., M.P.H., NACDD Physician Workgroup Chair.

More than 45 percent of Americans, or 133 million people, have at least one chronic disease. Chronic disease is the leading U.S. killer: Seven out of 10 people, or more than 1.7 million, die of a chronic disease and five chronic diseases - heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and diabetes - cause more than two-thirds of all deaths each year. More than 70 percent of all our health care costs relate to chronic diseases, and with much of that cost being preventable.

"By investing in prevention today, we invest in our future physical and economic health," said David Hoffman, Chair of NACDD's Legislative & Policy Committee. "The dramatic growth in chronic diseases impacts the nation's health, our health care costs, our workforce and future generations. These recommendations are critical first steps that can have an immediate impact and build capacity to fight chronic disease in the future."

About the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD)
The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) is a national public health association for chronic disease program directors of each state and U.S. territory. The NACDD works to reduce the impact of chronic diseases on the American population by advocating for preventative policies and programs, encouraging sharing of knowledge and developing partnerships for health promotion. (http://www.chronicdisease.org).

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