Prevention-focused bill would address chronic conditions
NACDS said it has joined the Healthcare Leadership Council and other stakeholders in a letter to Congress backing the expected reintroduction of the Preventive Health Savings Act in the 115th Congress.
The bill would amend the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 to require the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), after receiving a request from Congress, to decide if legislation would reduce spending outside of the 10-year budget window through the use of preventive health care to fight disease and promote well-being.
“To improve Americans’ health and wellness and to improve the affordability of care, we need innovative strategies that will address chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other conditions,” NACDS president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson said in a statement. “This legislation would help to bring about this innovation by allowing projected savings to be taken into consideration when legislation is considered.”
Specifically, the letter focuses on how the CBO gauges legislation to determine its effect, in this case on the long-term impact of preventive health and wellness care.
“The way in which the Congressional Budget Office currently ‘scores’ legislation severely constrains the ability of policymakers to accurately assess legislation that would prevent chronic disease and promote behavioral health across the life course,” the letter stated.
In addition, the letter to Congress quantifies the long-term effect of unchecked chronic disease, noting that these illnesses are responsible for seven out of 10 deaths among Americans each year. Chronic diseases also accounts for over 80% of the $2.7 trillion that the United States spends yearly on medical care, which increases as the population ages.
“As the chronic disease epidemic continues to worsen,” there is an increased need for “legislation that will properly allow Congress to see the full savings of enacting prevention-focused measures,” the letter said.
The Preventive Health Savings Act was introduced in the 114th Congress by Rep. Michael Burgess (R., Texas) in the House of Representatives as H.R. 3660 and and by Sen. Angus King (I., Maine) in the Senate as S. 3126.