Washington, D.C., January 25, 2010
—The American Public Health Association today urged Congress to press ahead and send comprehensive health reform legislation to the president in the coming weeks.
In a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives, APHA Executive Director Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), wrote, “While the political dynamics of passing a bill may be challenging, we cannot allow politics to derail the much needed reform the American people need and deserve.
“We must expand affordable health insurance coverage to those who are uninsured, provide funding for public health and prevention activities, implement much needed insurance and coverage reforms, strengthen the Medicare system and enhance the health care and public health work force.”
Benjamin also wrote, “The problems with our system that need to be addressed are only getting worse: the uninsured still die prematurely at unacceptable rates by the thousands; wellness and preventive care is often available too late; the economics of the current system still do not work for individuals, business or government; the value we get for the cost is highly variable. As each day passes and more people lose their job and access to employee-sponsored health care, the problems and stresses on the health system will only get worse.”
APHA urges Congress to advance legislation that contains the strongest possible public health and prevention provisions to improve the health of the American people and moves the nation closer to providing comprehensive and affordable health coverage for all.
Full text of the letter can be found at http://www.apha.org/NR/rdonlyres/CAEC795B-8EC8-4527-8D18-346F0B180FEB/0/APHAHouseHRletter.pdf.