In a monumental win for prevention, the Johanns Amendment is defeated. Prevention Institute's Larry Cohen is quoted in this Wall Street Journal article.
By Betsy McKay
Public health advocates cheered the defeat of a proposal in the Senate that would have diverted billions of dollars from a new federal fund for disease prevention and other public health programs.
Yesterday the Senate rejected an amendment proposed by Sen. Mike Johanns that aimed to repeal a tax provision included in the new health-care overhaul law. Small businesses have called the provision burdensome. (Read our post from yesterday to find out why.) Johanns had proposed offsetting lost revenue from the repeal partly with $11 billion from the new prevention and public health fund—essentially delaying the fund's start until 2018.
Iowa Democrat Tom Harkin, chairman of the Senate health committee and the appropriations subcommittee, had fought against the amendment and welcomed its defeat. "This attack on investments in prevention and wellness is the same old penny-wise-pound-foolish thinking that now makes America's health care system so costly and ineffective," he said in a statement. He added that he supports another amendment that would soften the tax provision.
"Prevention is good for small business, good for our economy, and good for our health," Larry Cohen, executive director of the nonprofit Prevention Institute, said in a statement.