National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) Applauds Emphasis on Prevention and Public Health in Senate HELP Legislation

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The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) applauds the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee for placing an emphasis on prevention and public health in their health reform bill, the "Affordable Health Choices Act," released Tuesday.

The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) applauds the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee for placing an emphasis on prevention and public health in their health reform bill, the "Affordable Health Choices Act," released Tuesday.

"We are very pleased that the 'Affordable Health Choices Act' has incorporated provisions for improving our nation's prevention and public health practices, which are vital to reducing chronic diseases," said John Robitscher, NACDD Executive Director. "By including these provisions, the committee recognizes the essential role that prevention and public health will play in our nation's future health and health care affordability."

Title III of the bill includes several provisions to increase the importance of prevention, wellness and health-promotion in the health care system. In particular, the bill calls for establishing:

  • A National Prevention, Health, Promotion and Public Health Council to provide coordination and leadership with respect to prevention, wellness and the public health system;
  • A National Prevention and Health Promotion Strategy to set specific goals and objectives for improving national health and establish measurable actions and timelines for meeting prevention and health promotion goals;
  • A Prevention and Public Health Investment Fund to expand and sustain a national investment in prevention and public health programs at a level of $10 billion per year; and
  • An independent Preventive Services Task Force to review scientific evidence related to the effectiveness, appropriateness, and cost-effectiveness of clinical preventive services.

"Prevention and a strong public health infrastructure are important components for delivering high-quality, effective and efficient health care," said Robitscher. "In a nation with such high rates of chronic disease and obesity, they will become even more effective tools to reduce and manage these debilitating conditions, if properly and comprehensively supported within our health care system."

More than 45 percent of Americans, or 133 million people, have at least one chronic disease. Annually, the United States spends $1.65 trillion or 75 percent of all health care spending on patients with one or more chronic diseases, and even higher percentages in Medicare (96%) and Medicaid (83%).

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 preventive policies and programs, encouraging sharing of knowledge and developing partnerships for health promotion. (http://www.chronicdisease.org)

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