As we celebrate the anniversary of the Affordable Care Act this week, we also mark a huge turning point in the way we think about health. A year ago this week, our country made a down payment on a transformative notion.
The communities where we live, work, learn and play should thrive. Your family, the kids your children play with at school, the family that lives next door to you, deserve support as they strive to be healthy. Local businesses trying to prosper shouldn’t be brought down by skyrocketing health costs and low productivity related to the declining health of their workforce.
That down payment comes in the form of a historic federal commitment to prevention and wellness. Through prevention funding, for the first time ever, our country is shifting our focus to health for all, rather than health care for some. Instead of simply focusing on doing what we do in the doctor’s office better and more efficiently, we are also thinking about keeping people out of the doctor’s office, period.That smart investment one year ago is already reaping big rewards.
Prevention is saving money. 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 percent 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.
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