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Tag: Howard Koh

The Politics of Prevention

If there’s one thing everyone in Washington can agree on it’s that prevention is good. And that’s about as far as the agreement goes.

As for the rest of it – who is responsible for prevention, how to define prevention, what is the government’s role in prevention, how much to spend on prevention and when to spend it – is not so clear, and wrapped up in the bitter politics (and difficult economics) of the day.

Then, there’s the question of the Prevention and Public Health Fund created by the Affordable Care Act to enable states and communities to try to prevent illness and promote longer, healthier lives. To backers of the law, the fund is an engine for public health, community transformation, and a pivotal part of the effort to create a “health care” system instead of a “sick care” system.

To foes, it’s a “slush fund”, a $13.8 billion monument to everything they don’t like about the 2010 legislation.  It’s $13.8 billion that could easily end up on one of the deficit-cutting chopping blocks.

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