Chronic diseases account for 86% of health care costs in the United States. Investing in prevention methods will increase Americans’ quality of life, as well as decrease the trajectory of health care spending. The pressing issue of chronic disease and cost-effective preventive measures to avert such diseases should be part of any discussion about reducing health care costs.
On June 19, 2019, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced the Lower Health Care Costs Act (S. 1895), a bipartisan package of legislation intended to address factors driving health care costs. The legislation includes a provision on public health and chronic disease, specifically a section on evidence-based strategies for State Health Department obesity prevention programs.
NACDD submitted comments on the legislation, and as a result of NACDD’s comments, the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee changed the bill’s language to better reflect the work Chronic Disease Units are doing to prevent and reduce obesity. NACDD looks forward to continuing to work with members of Congress to address public health and health care policy issues.