I want to commemorate the first anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and a healthier American people.
One year ago, we took the first step toward a true public health system when the federal government committed to helping people take personal responsibility for their own health by making healthy choices easier choices.
Included in the ACA -- which eliminates co-pays for proven, effective preventive services -- is the Prevention and Public Health Fund, a $16.5 billion investment over the next 10 years that goes to communities around the country to help them keep Americans healthier and more productive.
One hallmark program of the Prevention Fund is the Community Transformation Grants (CTG), which provide communities with the resources needed to work together at the local level to create health initiatives tailored to their specific needs. This can involve small business owners, faith leaders, youth leaders, employers, community groups, parents, law enforcement officials, schools, and health care providers. With a CTG Grant, a community can:
In addition, the ACA includes the creation of the National Prevention Strategy, which will help ensure that the federal government engages in a health in all policies approach with each agency contributing to the quality of our nation's health. Specifically, the Strategy will:
By supporting preventive measures, we help curb costs down the road by sparing millions of Americans from developing serious, preventable diseases and keeping more people working, happy and productive. The investment is urgent because today's children are in danger of becoming the first generation to live shorter, less healthy lives than their parents.
Preventing disease and injury is the most effective, common-sense way to improve health in the United States. The ACA, National Prevention Strategy, and Prevention Fund give us a chance to shift the paradigm from a sick care system that focuses on treating disease after it happens to a health care system, where we keep people healthy in the first place.
Let's make sure our country is healthier when it comes time for the cotton, leather, linen/silk, wood, iron, wool/copper, bronze and, yes, gold anniversaries of the law.
For background on the Prevention Fund, in fiscal year 2011, the funds will be dedicated to expanding on four critical priorities:
The FY 2011 Prevention Fund will provide resources that will help communities in every state:
The Fund will also improve state and local health departments' ability to:
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