Creation of the Prevention and Public Health Fund under the Affordable Care Act was a major victory for advocates of prevention and population health. Recently, Congress and the Obama administration agreed to cut the fund by a third as part of the payroll tax cut extension and to address physician reimbursement under the Medicare program, known as the “doc fix.” Hear what APHA Executive Director Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), thinks about the state of the fund and prospects for prevention in a post on the Health Affairs Blog.
Two years ago with enactment of the Affordable Care Act, our nation was poised to follow a new prescription for health. The world’s biggest spender on health care and a nation whose health system — a $2.7 trillion enterprise — was largely oriented to treat those who were sick and injured had just made an extraordinary downpayment on prevention and wellness. With this one measure, we were on the cusp of transforming our nation’s health system from one that provides sick care to one that keeps people healthy as a first goal.
The prevention cornerstone of the health reform law is the Prevention and Public Health Fund, a historic multiyear commitment to invest in the capacity of public health systems and engage communities in ways that allow making the healthy choice the easy choice. While some monies from this fund have already been invested to support local prevention and public health initiatives, our hopes for an appropriate and full transformation toward population health may be slipping away.
To continue reading this post, visit the Health Affairs Blog.
There, you can also read a post from Jeff Levi, PhD, executive director of Trust for America’s Health, on the case for the fund, along with a Health Policy Brief on the Prevention and Public Health Fund from Health Affairs and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.