Real Healthcare Reform Must Include Prevention (That Is, Don’t Forget Food & Fitness!)

October 21, 2009

By Amanda Chablani, HSC Policy Specialist

Healthcare reform policy is finally making some progress in Congress and, while it’s great to see movement, we’re worried that prevention efforts – the proven strategies such as food and fitness initiatives that are key in making our nation healthier – are getting sacrificed in the effort to cut costs.  

While both House and Senate healthcare bills have included provisions to fund community prevention programs, those provisions may well be cut over the next few days. Now, we need our elected leaders to know how important prevention efforts are to real healthcare reform

As we and others have noted, prevention is the most cost effective way to address our public health crises of asthma, obesity, and diabetes.  Slashing prevention at a time when an unprecedented number of children are afflicted by these epidemics will leave us with healthcare reform that does not address the root of our problems.  

If we seriously want to improve the health of millions of Americans, we need to provide adequate prevention services to children and families.  That’s why we will be contacting our legislators and urging them to protect the prevention initiatives in the healthcare bill; we’ll be asking them not to forget about food, fitness, and the other fundamental parts of being healthy.  We hope you will too.