For Immediate Release
For more information, please contact APHA Communications at (202) 777-2509 or mediarelations@apha.org .

Repeal of health reform compromises efforts to improve the health of all Americans, says APHA

Statement from Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), executive director of APHA

 

Washington, D.C., July 10, 2012 – “APHA urges the U.S. House of Representatives to deny any attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act and instead work together to ensure the law is fully implemented to protect the health of all Americans.

 

“On June 28, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down one of the most significant health care rulings in more than a century, upholding a landmark law designed to fundamentally shift the nation’s health system away from treatment and towards prevention.

 

“Yet, the majority in the House of Representatives is once again playing politics with our health in their latest attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act. These efforts are distracting and do nothing to reduce rates of chronic disease, increase productivity and control costs within the health system. It is only by ensuring full implementation of the law and improving upon it that we can set our country on a path towards these goals.

 

“Up until now, our health and the health of future generations have been compromised by a system that thrives on treating a disease rather than preventing it. Through the law’s Prevention and Public Health Fund, critical investments are being made to help build healthy communities and strengthen public health systems and infrastructure at the state and local level. The fund is also ensuring that communities receive critical funding to implement sound, evidence-based interventions to detect chronic disease early, curb tobacco use, improve nutrition and increase physical activity.

 

“The law’s Medicaid expansion provision transforms a fragmented system of insurance coverage for the poorest of Americans into a  seamless and better coordinated program. It improves access to preventive care for those who earn less than 133 percent of the poverty line. Ironically, many of the states that have opposed this particular provision are home to residents who experience the greatest need of this expanded coverage and are burdened by some of the worst health outcomes. The law also expands affordable and comprehensive health insurance coverage to an additional 31 million uninsured Americans.

 

“APHA is disappointed with the House leadership’s decision to once again bring a bill to the floor to repeal this important, life-saving law. Instead, they ought to be working to ensure the law reaches its full potential. Implementation of the Affordable Care Act is critical to addressing a number of the biggest challenges facing our health system. Any effort to compromise that work should be swiftly denied.”

# # #

Founded in 1872, the APHA is the oldest and most diverse organization of public health professionals in the world. The association aims to protect all Americans and their communities from preventable, serious health threats and strives to assure community-based health promotion and disease prevention activities and preventive health services are universally accessible in the United States. APHA represents a broad array of health providers, educators, environmentalists, policy-makers and health officials at all levels working both within and outside governmental organizations and educational institutions. More information is available at www.apha.org.