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APHA Releases Public Health Priorities for New Congress and Administration
Date:1/14/2009

WASHINGTON, Jan. 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As Congress begins its first term and the Obama administration prepares to assume power, the American Public Health Association (APHA) urges our elected leaders to recognize the importance of public health as the foundation for a strong national health system.

To this end, APHA calls on the president and Congress to:

  • Increase access to health care. APHA urges the administration to ensure that each individual has access to quality and affordable health care. As an important first step, APHA calls on Congress and the administration to act quickly to reauthorize the State Children's Health Insurance Program.

  • Ensure health reform bill strengthens the nation's health system. We must invest in strengthening the nation's public health system by supporting community-based programs and interventions, expanding our primary care and public health work force, and working to eliminate health inequities.

  • Increase funding for vital public health agencies and programs. APHA calls for a dramatic increase in funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and other public health service agencies.

  • Address the public health implications of transportation policy. Communities would benefit from a transportation system that enables all residents to access affordable and secure housing, nutritious food, clean air and water, mass transportation, safe sidewalks, streets and playgrounds, health services and opportunities for social networking.

  • Give FDA the authority to regulate tobacco products. APHA urges our leaders to pass legislation that will give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration the authority to effectively regulate the manufacturing, marketing, labeling, distribution and sale of tobacco products.

  • Address the public health impacts of climate change. We urge the administration and Congress to ensure that strong provisions to address the public health consequences of climate change are included in any climate change legislation considered.

For further details, visit http://www.apha.org/about/news/pressreleases/2009/APHA_legislative_priorities.htm.

"Each of these recommendations is an essential component of a holistic strategy aimed at improving health in our nation," said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP, executive director of APHA. "By making a national commitment to protecting and promoting health through an investment in a strong public health infrastructure, we have the potential to become the healthiest nation in one generation."

Learn more about the APHA at http://www.apha.org/about/news/presskit/boilerplate.htm.


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SOURCE American Public Health Association
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