Preventing disparities at forefront of health care reform

December 14, 2009
by Suzanne Bohan and Sandy Kleffman
Contra Costa Times

The House health care reform bill, passed last month, sets aside $33.9 billion over five years for a prevention and health promotion strategy. Democratic lawmakers are pushing for a vote by Christmas on the Senate version, which includes $15 billion over 10 years for similar prevention and health promotion programs.

In both House and Senate bills, a grant request to open a grocery store in an area without one would qualify as a health program, said Rich Hamburg, deputy director of Trust for America's Health. So would a request for money to hire security guards to watch over a park that residents have come to fear because of crime, he said, or money to keep a school playground open after hours.

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