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Health Reform Rapid Response:
The conversation on prevention

This Wednesday, March 23rd, marks the one-year anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act, and the first anniversary of the most significant federal investment in prevention and wellness that our country has seen, through the Prevention and Public Health Fund.

Given the fact that prevention funding continues to draw scrutiny, it is particularly important to raise the profile of successful prevention efforts in our communities. Let’s make sure that prevention successes--many of which have been made possible by health reform--are front and center during the anniversary. Send your congressperson a letter today, educating them about the importance of  community prevention: we’ve made it easy, with tailored emails that you can send directly to your legislators.

The stories:
Though attacks against the Prevention and Public Health Fund persist, we are also seeing some strong pieces from some of our leaders that flip the frame on even some of the hardest questions. Here are the stories:

Tips to guide your conversation:

The one-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act should be a celebration of the benefits that increased investment in community prevention has brought to communities across the country. It is important that policymakers and the media understand that we value the law’s important investment in prevention, so that they recognize the ways that the investment is supporting health. First Lady Michelle Obama and Surgeon General Benjamin set the right tone in their conversations; here’s some data points that can help you follow their lead:

  • A healthy community, where people can access healthy foods and safe places to be physically active, is good for business. Businesses spend $73 billion dollars a year on chronic diseases that these kinds of efforts can prevent. Our local businesses are going to save money on healthcare costs, lost work days and medical claims when their workforce - all of us in out community - is healthier in the first place.

  • Community prevention is building our neighborhood infrastructure and the local economy; bike paths, pedestrian walkways and smart public transit make it easier and faster to shop at local businesses. Local business owners are getting equipment upgrades and publicity for their stores and products. Instead of shipping food in from out-of-state or out of the country, more of our kids are eating local foods, from local farmers, prepared right here in our community.

  • Our local businesses really deserve the extra boost that a healthy community will bring. Workplace wellness programs build a healthier workforce and a better bottom line: for every dollar a workplace spends on comprehensive wellness programs like ours, medical costs fall by about $3.27. In hard economic times, when our businesses are struggling, we can’t afford not to invest in prevention.

  • Seven of ten deaths among Americans each year are caused by chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes--diseases that could be prevented. These same chronic diseases account for more than 75% of our nation's health care spending. Community prevention dollars are working right now to alleviate some of these soaring costs—and improving health at the same time.

Here's what you can do:

  • Send your congressperson a letter today, educating them about the importance of  community prevention: we’ve made it easy, with tailored emails that you can send directly to your legislators.

  • Make sure we have your zip code. We want to be able to mobilize people right where you live. Update your information here.

  • Write a blog, op-ed or letter to the editor of your local paper.

  • Have a successful example of community prevention in action? Please share it with us so we can include it in our talking points.

  • Visit our Health Reform Advocacy page for more information.

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Prevention Institute 221 Oak Street Oakland, CA 94607
t 510.444.7738 | email: prevent@preventioninstitute.org