National Consumers League

Health Reform … What’s in Store?


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by Mimi Johnson, Health Policy Associate

As Governor Kathleen Sebelius’ confirmation hearings continue, there is increased buzz around town about what’s in store for health reform.

Prevention!

We could not be more excited that prevention is one of the key areas of concern for lawmakers. In fact, contact your Senators and Representative and let them know that you support prevention and that it should be included in health reform. At a recent meeting, a Hill insider mentioned that there are still a lot of politicians out there who don’t value putting resources towards prevention. We do. It’s really important that the government focus on prevention because it will require changes in infrastructure – making it safer to go for a walk through town; easier to access healthy, fresh foods; and have more quality face time with our health care practitioners.

Secondary and Tertiary Prevention?

One of the more exciting prospects of health reform is the idea of including secondary and tertiary prevention. This means that the government – from Congress and federal agencies down to the local community health system – will work to ensure that we can better manage our health, including any chronic conditions we might have. Secondary prevention focuses on detecting a disease in its earliest state, while tertiary prevention aims to manage chronic conditions or illnesses to improve a patient’s quality of life. If we can promote prevention – in all forms, we can help save more lives and money. Secondary and tertiary prevention can help patients to better understand and utilize the health care system in addition to helping them take medication safely and appropriately.*

With a new leader at HHS, and a country ready for more than just another Band-Aid fix, the time is now for health reform. We are hopeful that this comprehensive reform will help us change the way we think about our health.

*Stay tuned - we’ll soon have more information about our developing medication adherence campaign, which is a prime example of secondary prevention.