Prevention & Public Health Fund Needed to Accomplish the Essential Public Health Services

The Affordable Care Act of 2010 created the Prevention and Public Health Fund to invest in public health and disease prevention.This Fund is a key component of the law’s overall power to help reorient U.S. healthcare system toward prevention and wellness, while also restraining the costs of high prevalence of chronic diseases in our communities.

According to CDC, the Essential Public Health Services provide the fundamental framework of the public health activities that should be undertaken in all communities.  The Essential Services provide a working definition of public health and a guiding framework for the responsibilities of local public health systems.

  1. Monitor health status to identify and solve community health problems.
  2. Diagnose and investigate health problems and health hazards in the community.
  3. Inform, educate, and empower people about health issues.
  4. Mobilize community partnerships and action to identify and solve health problems.
  5. Develop policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts.
  6. Enforce laws and regulations that protect health and ensure safety.
  7. Link people to needed personal health services and assure the provision of health care when otherwise unavailable.
  8. Assure competent public and personal health care workforce.
  9. Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and population-based health services.
  10. Research for new insights and innovative solutions to health problems.

How can Congress refuse the 5-to-1 return on investment prevention affords? If Congress abandons the Prevention Fund, it is forcing local businesses to continue to spend $153 billion each year on chronic diseases that are preventable – monies local businesses could instead be spending to hire more workers, reinvest in the business, and support a vibrant, healthy workforce. Congress needs to be fiscally responsible and support the Prevention Fund so businesses can spend their resources on what matters to them.

Preventing disease and injury in the first place is the smart way to ensure good health. When we use our collective resources to create environments for children and families – neighborhoods, schools, childcare centers, and workplaces – that support health, wellbeing, and safety, that’s when we are at our best in school, at work, and with each other. It simply doesn’t make sense – and is a waste of precious resources – to pay when someone is sick when we could pay much less to be sure they don’t get sick in the first place.

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