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  • ACOEM Comments on Prevention and Public Health Fund from the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

    August 24, 2010

    Dear Senator:

    As the Senate considers the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act (H.R. 5297), the more than 160undersigned organizations listed below strongly urge you to oppose the use of the Prevention and Public Health Fund from the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as an offset for an amendment offered by SenatorJohanns (No. 4596). Such an action would virtually eliminate the Fund, and mark a severe blow to this monumental commitment to prevention and public health under the Act. We will also oppose any other such efforts to use the Fund as an offset. 

    ACA included historic reforms that have the potential to transform our health system. For too long, we have focused spending on treating people once they are sick rather than preventing illness in the first place. The Prevention and Public Health Fund (Fund) is urgently needed to address the many emerging health threats our country faces and the persistent chronic disease rates that we must begin to control. The Fund is intended to ensure a coordinated, comprehensive, sustainable, and accountable approach to improving our country’s health outcomes through the most effective prevention and public health programs.

    ACA clearly states that the money be used “for programs authorized by the Public Health Service Act, for prevention, wellness, and public health activities.” The money would be strategically used to support disease prevention by promoting access to vaccines, building the public health workforce, and investing in community-based prevention. Furthermore, the Act specifically states that community-based prevention funding must only support evidence-based prevention programs which have been shown through scientific research to reduce chronic disease, including behavioral health conditions, and address health disparities. Research has shown that effective community level prevention activities focusing on nutrition, physical activity and smoking cessation can reduce chronic disease rates and have a significant return on investment. 

    Already in Fiscal Year 2010, we have seen these funds invested for programs to promote tobacco control and implement tobacco cessation services and campaigns, as well as obesity prevention, better nutrition and physical activity. The fund has been invested to support state, local and tribal public health efforts to advance health promotion and disease prevention, and to build state and local capacity to prevent, detect and respond to infectious disease outbreaks. The funds are also being used to support the training of current and next generation public health professionals. 

    The Fund is a unique opportunity to truly bend the cost curve on health care spending. Seventy-five percent of all health care costs in our country are spent on the treatment of chronic diseases, many of which could be prevented. Further, in a public opinion survey conducted just prior to the passage of the Act, Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) found that 71 percent of Americans favored an increased investment in disease prevention and that disease prevention was one of the most popular components of health reform. 

    We must ensure that we capitalize on the unprecedented opportunity to transform our public health system by investing in prevention and public health. We urge you to vote NO on the prevention fund offset within the Johanns amendment, or on any other such legislative vehicles.

    Sincerely,

    AARP
    AIDS Action
    AIDS Alabama
    All Saints Home Care
    American Academy of Pediatrics
    American Academy of Physician Assistants
    American Association for International Aging
    American Association of Colleges of Nursing
    American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine
    American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
    American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
    American College of Clinical Pharmacy
    American College of Gastroenterology
    American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
    American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
    American College of Preventive Medicine
    American Counseling Association
    American Dental Education Association
    American Diabetes Association
    American Federation of State, County and
    Municipal Employees
    American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
    American Heart Association
    American Lung Association
    American Medical Student Association
    American Nurses Association
    American Psychological Association
    American Public Health Association
    American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
    American Thoracic Society
    Arthritis Foundation
    Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum
    Association of American Medical Colleges
    Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs
    Association for Prevention Teaching and Research
    Association of Public Health Laboratories
    Association of Schools of Public Health
    Association of State and State and Territorial Dental Directors
    Association of State and Territorial Health Officials
    Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses
    Atlanta Regional Health Forum
    A World Fit for Kids!
    Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
    Building Healthier America
    California Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors
    California Center for Public Health Advocacy
    California Food Policy Advocates
    California Foundation for the Advancement of Addiction Professionals
    California Pan-Ethnic Health Network
    California School Health Centers Association
    Campaign for Public Health
    Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
    Center for Biosecurity, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
    Center for Health Improvement
    Center for Science in the Public Interest
    Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
    Coalition for Health Services Research
    Colon Cancer Alliance
    Commissioned Officers Association of the U.S. Public Health Service
    CommonHealth ACTION
    Community Action Partnership
    Community Catalyst
    Community Health Councils
    Community Health Partnership: Oregon’s Public Health Institute
    Comprehensive Health Education Foundation
    Connecticut Certification Board
    Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists
    County Health Executives Association of California
    Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America
    Defeat Diabetes Fund
    Digestive Disease National Coalition
    Family Voices
    Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences
    Friends of AHRQ
    Friends of NCHS
    Friends of SAMHSA
    Harlem United Community AIDS Center, Inc.
    Health Care for America Now
    Health Law Advocates of Louisiana, Inc
    Hepatitis Foundation International
    HIV Medicine Association
    Home Safety Council
    Infectious Diseases Society of America
    Institute for Public Health Innovation
    International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC)
    International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association
    Interstitial Cystitis Association
    Louisiana Public Health Institute
    March of Dimes Foundation
    Media Policy Center
    Mental Health America
    Michigan Association for Local Public Health
    National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors
    National Assembly on School-Based Health Care
    National Association for Public Health
    Statistics and Information Systems
    National Association of Chain Drug Stores
    National Association of Children’s Hospitals
    National Association of Chronic Disease Directors
    National Association of Community Health Centers
    National Association of Counties
    National Association of County & City Health Officials
    National Association of Local Boards of Health
    National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems
    National Association of School Nurses
    National Association of State Mental Health
    Program Directors
    National Coalition for LGBT Health
    National Coalition of STD Directors
    National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physicians
    National Council of Jewish Women
    National Council of La Raza
    National Education Association
    National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association
    National Federation of Families for Children’s
    Mental Health
    National Forum for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention
    National Indian Project Center
    National Network of Public Health Institutes
    National Nursing Centers Consortium
    National Recreation and Park Association
    National Rural Health Association
    National WIC Association
    Nemours
    New Hampshire Public Health Association
    New York Society for Gastrointestinal
    Endoscopy
    Northwest Federation of Community
    Organizations
    Novo Nordisk
    NYU Langone Medical Center
    Out of Many, One
    Papa Ola Lokahi
    Partners for a Healthy Nevada
    Partnership for Prevention
    Physician Assistant Education Association
    Planned Parenthood Federation of America
    Prevention Institute
    Project Inform
    Public Health Foundation
    Public Health Institute
    Public Health Law and Policy
    Public Health-Monroe County (MI)
    Public Health - Seattle and King County
    Public Health Solutions
    Pulmonary Hypertension Association
    Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
    REACH U.S. SouthEastern African American Center of Excellence for Elimination of
    Disparities (REACH U.S. SEA-CEED)
    RiverStone Health
    Safe States Alliance
    Service Employees International Union
    Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S.
    Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine
    Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America
    Society for Public Health Education
    Summit Health Institute for Research and Education, Inc.
    TakeAction Minnesota
    The AIDS Institute
    The MetroHealth System
    The National Alliance to Advance Adolescent Health
    Trust for America’s Health
    UHCAN Ohio
    United Ostomy Associations of America
    Urban Coalition for HIV/AIDS Prevention Services
    U.S. PIRG
    Washington Health Foundation
    WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease
    YMCA of the USA