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TFAH Supports Passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Bill Expands Coverage to Millions of Uninsured Americans, Invests in Wellness and Prevention

Monday, March 22, 2010 General News J E 4
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WASHINGTON, March 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Trust for America's Health (TFAH) applauds the action of the United States House of Representatives, which passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act late last night. The bill expands coverage to millions of uninsured Americans, establishes a national prevention strategy, and creates a reliable funding stream through the creation of a Public Health Investment Fund. This fund will support core public health functions, community prevention initiatives, an increased public health workforce, and public health prevention and research activities.

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"Today America is one step closer towards a culture of prevention rather than one of treatment," said Jeffrey Levi, PhD, Executive Director of Trust for America's Health. "Prevention holds the promise of improving health and quality of life while lowering health care costs.  This bill includes the ingredients needed to ensure we get the returns that prevention offers, including a focused national prevention strategy, a reliable public health funding stream, and evidence-based programs that will be held accountable for improving health outcomes."

As part of the National Prevention Strategy, the bill creates a Prevention and Public Health Council chaired by the Surgeon General which will provide coordination among Federal departments and agencies and create and implement the National Strategy.

"While we need a robust public health workforce to help implement the National Strategy, there are many factors that are beyond the ability of health officials to influence by themselves," Levi said.  "That's why it's so encouraging that the Prevention and Public Health Council will look at ways of including health across all sectors of the government."

The bill also includes funding for Community Transformation grants that would help leverage the success of existing evidence-based disease prevention programs, such as those that promote healthier eating and increased physical activity, or establish new programs in areas that currently do not receive funding. These interventions promote healthy environments and behaviors by making it easier for people to make healthy choices.  

"The Community Transformation grants are an important, strategic investment that will help reduce rates of preventable disease and give millions of individuals the opportunity to live healthier lives," Levi said. "These programs will have a real payoff in dollars, workforce productivity, and quality of life for all Americans."

Trust for America's Health is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority.

SOURCE Trust for America's Health

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