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Prevention For A Healthier America

March 1, 2012
by Jeff Levi
Health Affairs

 

The Prevention and Public Health Fund, created by the Affordable Care Act, is an historic investment toward improving the country’s health and quality of life, reducing health care costs for families and businesses, and increasing productivity so the country can compete with the rest of the world.  It provides the chance to change our sick care system to a true health care system that focuses on keeping people healthy in the first place and ensuring that today’s children aren’t at risk of living shorter, less healthy lives than their parents.

Last month, Congress voted to use a portion of the fund to finance the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), often known as “doc fix.”  Quite frankly, eliminating shortfalls resulting from Medicare’s flawed SGR formula with cuts to the nation’s first dedicated Prevention and Public Health Fund is short-sighted and counterintuitive. Cutting prevention to pay for doctors’ visits is illogical – prevention is the best way we have to actually improve the health of Americans and reduce their need to go to the doctor in the first place.

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