Navigation Links
American Heart Association Urges Congress to Accelerate Efforts to Enact Comprehensive Health Care Reform
Date:3/16/2009

And Increase Research Funding to Prevent Setbacks in the Fight Against Heart Disease and Stroke

WASHINGTON, March 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With thousands of Americans losing health coverage each day, the American Heart Association warns lawmakers that recent progress in reducing the prevalence of heart disease and stroke could be erased without comprehensive healthcare reform this year.

During a media briefing in Washington, American Heart Association leadership outlined the Association's main objectives for health reform legislation, which include effective prevention strategies, adequate and affordable coverage, and delivery system reforms that promote high quality and cost-effective cardiovascular care.

"We have a responsibility to urge lawmakers about the issues that concern our patients, particularly as they confront their health care challenges in this tough economic climate," said Timothy Gardner, American Heart Association President. "Time is not on our side."

As the baby boomers age, heart disease is projected to increase by 16% each decade and deaths from stroke are projected to increase nearly 100% between 2000 and 2032. Cardiovascular disease is projected to cost $475 billion in medical expenses and lost productivity in 2009, making it the most costly disease.

Research is another important way the association intends to address the cardiovascular crisis that lays ahead. In 2008, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) invested a mere 4% of its budget on heart research and less than 1% on stroke. These disproportionately low levels of funding for the No. 1 and No. 3 causes of death will severely limit efforts to find new ways to prevent cardiovascular disease and reduce death and disability among heart disease and stroke victims, according to the Association. "The identification of a person's genetic susceptibility to heart disease and stroke and technologies that might one day regenerate heart muscle after a heart attack or brain tissue after a stroke are examples of research that will be delayed significantly unless more resources can be directed towards research," Gardner added.

"In some respects, we are victims of our own success," said Clyde Yancy, M.D., American Heart Association President-Elect. "Coronary heart disease and stroke death rates have each fallen by almost 30% since 1999 and this decline is closely related to NIH heart and stroke research. However we must increase funding in these areas to take us to that next level in cardiovascular prevention and treatment."

Risk factors, such as unhealthy weight, poor diet, smoking and diabetes, are on the rise and could undercut many of the gains made in recent decades, according to the Association. "We are concerned that the current economic downturn may exacerbate these trends, as incomes drop, layoffs increase and stress levels rise," said Yancy.

These risk factors could be addressed through preventive measures contained in any comprehensive healthcare reform bill as well as through legislation that combats childhood obesity and curbs tobacco use. Making evidence-based clinical preventive services part of health care coverage for all Americans and removing financial barriers to their use are top priorities for the Association in health care reform. These clinical services should ideally be bolstered by a public health infrastructure that promotes community-based prevention programs for obesity, tobacco cessation, hypertension, poor nutrition, and other cardiovascular risk factors.

Pending federal legislation supported by the association includes the Fitness Integrated with Teaching (FIT) Kids Act, which holds schools accountable for providing students with high quality physical education and the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act that would give the Food and Drug Administration the authority to regulate the manufacturing, marketing and advertising of tobacco.

About 15 percent of non-elderly adults who report having cardiovascular disease are uninsured. These individuals are far less likely than their insured counterparts to receive appropriate and timely medical care and as a consequence, suffer worse medical outcomes. The Association supports insurance market reforms that would prevent discrimination based on pre-existing conditions and believes that the best way to achieve this goal is through an individual mandate with appropriate premium subsidies for those who need them. The Association also supports provisions that increase lifetime and annual insurance caps as well as those that limit out-of-pocket expenses.

"Making health insurance coverage available to all Americans without regard to their pre-existing condition, age, or sex must be a critical component of health reform," said Nancy Brown, American Heart Association CEO. "Patients with cardiovascular disease should not have to go without health insurance -- simply because they need it the most."

"To help 'bend the cost curve' in health care expenditures, we believe our work in developing clinical guidelines, clinical decision-making tools, and performance measures for cardiac care can make a significant contribution," said Brown. The Association's Get With The Guidelines (GWTG) program helps disseminate evidence-based guidelines to the provider in real time through the use of health information technology. Expanded use of these tools and health information technology has the potential to improve the quality and efficiency of cardiovascular care, reduce medical errors, and help address health disparities.

"The Association is committed to working towards enactment of comprehensive health care reform this year. We look forward to working with the House and Senate Committees of jurisdiction and with the Administration in crafting a measure that will address the needs of our patients and improve the physical and fiscal health of our nation," said Brown.

For more information visit www.heartsforhealthcare.org.


'/>"/>
SOURCE American Heart Association
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Many Older Americans Have Active Sex Lives
2. Despite grumbling, most Americans say they are happy at work
3. Record Number of Americans Lack Health Insurance
4. Longaberger Expands Horizon of Hope Campaign to Build Support for American Cancer Societys Breast Cancer Initiatives
5. AUDIO from Medialink and Pfizer: Number of Uninsured Americans Grows to 47 Million
6. New Survey Shows Americans are Still Concerned About Food Safety, Yet Still Not Smart About What They Like to Eat
7. Novo Nordisk Appoints New Leader of North American Business
8. Amid Improving Life Expectancy Rates, Risk of Premature Death is Still Significant for Americans, New Study Shows
9. Primary biliary cirrhosis more severe in African-American and Hispanic patients
10. AOA President Calls on Congress to Reauthorize SCHIP and Take Action to Ensure Health Care Coverage for All Americans
11. American Chemical Societys Weekly Presspac -- Sept. 5, 2007
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... Information about the technology: , Otomagnetics ... enable prevention of a major side effect of chemotherapy in children. Cisplatin and ... For cisplatin, hearing loss is FDA listed on-label as a dose limiting toxicity. ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... HMP , a leader in ... 2017 Folio Magazine Eddie Digital Award for ‘Best B-to-B Healthcare Website.’ Winners were announced ... 2017. , The annual award competition recognizes editorial and design excellence across a range ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... On Saturday, October 21, the Health & Wellness ... Moonlight to raise money for the American Heart Association Heart Walk. Teams of up ... work together to keep their treadmills moving for 5 hours. Treadmills will start at ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... nation's first interactive health literacy software tool, and the Cancer Patient Education Network ... cancer patient education, today announce a new strategic alliance. , As CPEN’s ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... the latest in wound care advancements to physician colleagues, skilled nursing facility medical ... titled, "Navigating the Treacherous Waters of Wound Care." , "At many of these ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/28/2017)... , Sept. 28, 2017 Hill-Rom Holdings, ... 2017 earnings conference call and webcast on Friday, November ... a.m. (EDT) and ending at approximately 8:30 a.m. (CDT) ... discussing the company,s 2017 financial performance and guidance for ... opportunities, initiatives to enhance operational performance, and long-range financial ...
(Date:9/25/2017)... 2017   Montrium , an industry leader ... the IQPC Trial Master Files & Inspection Readiness ... EastHORN Clinical Services has selected eTMF Connect ... management. EastHORN, a leading European contract research organization ... transparency to enable greater collaboration with sponsors, improve ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... Sept. 22, 2017 AVACEN Medical (AVACEN) announced ... now successfully helping those with the widespread pain associated ... diagnosed Amanda in Essex, England ... my hair, experiencing no sleep at all, tremendous pain, ... I cannot recommend [the AVACEN 100] enough, how this ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: