Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) July 23, 2009
The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) sent a letter to the Chairmen of the House Committees on Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, and Health and Labor Wednesday applauding the leaders for their commitment to the America's Affordable Health Choices Act. The letter to Representatives Miller, Rangel and Waxman also asked that they continue to champion provisions dedicated to preventing and managing chronic diseases - the number one driver of health care costs.
"We are pleased with Congress' work in moving health reform forward and for its recognition of the importance of focusing on chronic disease prevention to control costs," said John Robitscher, NACDD Executive Director. "The 'America's Affordable Health Choices Act' includes many welcomed provisions that will be necessary to bolster the country's public health systems and ensure that we are able to better prevent chronic disease and improve the overall health of our nation."
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%).
"As Members of Congress look for ways to cut health care costs, prevention should be the commonsense solution," said David Hoffman, Chair of the NACDD Legislative and Policy Committee. "By preventing disease and investing in a true health care system, our communities will be healthier, demand for acute inpatient and outpatient care will decrease and fewer people will develop full onset disease -- avoiding costly complications."
In addition to supporting the work of the committees in the letter, the NACDD also calls on House leaders to continue their pursuit of providing increased funding for vital prevention and wellness programs supported by the public health system.
The NACDD supports the development of a National Prevention and Wellness Strategy, as well as the creation of resource funds such as the Prevention and Public Health Investment Fund and Prevention and Wellness Trust. These systems will help ensure that prevention and wellness programs are properly funded to address the great needs of communities around the country.
The NACDD maintains an archive of more than 150 examples of programs from across the country that target the risk factors associated with chronic disease -- smoking, lack of physical activity, and poor nutrition. In the letter, The NACDD expresses that it is the hope of their members -- all of which are state chronic disease directors -- that this information hub, as well as the wealth of evidence available regarding the success of clinical and community-based prevention will lead Congress to retain these important provisions as the bill makes its way through the legislative process.
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).