I'm in Washington DC this week, and, from my colleagues and partners to Capitol Hill legislators, the primary thing people are talking about is the future of health reform. Based on what I am able to learn, I feel optimistic that health reform—and the critical provisions for prevention that are included—will move forward. For that to happen, though, we must continue to push our legislators to keep health reform on the table.
- As our Administration, Representatives and Senators consider health care reform action, please take a moment to call or email Congress and remind them how important our health—and their action—is.
Ironically, the election loss in Massachusetts has made it more important than ever for Democrats that they pass a viable health reform package. Based on my conversations in Washington, it seems the only realistic route to do so is for the house to pass the Senate bill, and for some of the differences between the two bills to be settled through the reconciliation process. From a prevention perspective, this probably means $15 Billion dollars for community wellness over the next ten years. It means an opportunity to build on the stimulus funding, to support innovative interdisciplinary work, and to prioritize reducing inequities in health.
This process has flaws and yet in my opinion we must speak loud and long for prevention and for health. We cannot let the perfect be the enemy of the good. We should be learning more shortly.