For Immediate Release: February 9, 2012
Harkin Welcomes New Report Showing Reduced Obesity Rates Would Yield Billions in Savings
WASHINGTON—Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) released the following statement on a new report issued today by the Trust for America’s Health, showing that a five percent reduction in the obesity rate could yield more than $600 billion in savings on health care costs over 20 years:
“This study reinforces the common-sense notion that prevention is the best medicine,” Harkin said. “This is exactly why the Prevention and Public Health Fund created in the Affordable Care Act is such an important step toward changing our sick care system into a true health care system. Investing in proven community-based prevention programs that promote health and wellness, such as those that improve access to fresh fruits and vegetables, increase physical activity, and decrease tobacco use, could save the country more than $16 billion within five years. I applaud the Trust for America’s Health for their recognition of the great opportunity we have before us to make ours a healthier and more fiscally responsible nation.”
Harkin is the Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and the Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). He authored the Prevention and Public Health title in the Affordable Care Act.