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Prevention Policy Agenda for the 110th Congress
Partnership for Prevention aims to transform the U.S. health system from one that spends most of its resources treating diseases and injuries to one that focuses “upstream” on prevention. The end result of this goal? Longer, healthier lives, a more productive nation, and lower healthcare costs.

Prevention, however, will not happen on a large-scale without fundamental policy change. Congress must play a critical role by tackling the biggest influencers of poor health nationwide: tobacco use, unhealthy diets and physical inactivity, alcohol misuse, and going without clinical preventive services, such as immunizations, screenings, and counseling.

Partnership has identified high-impact policies in each of these critical areas for which strong evidence exists that the policy will significantly reduce disease or injury and that can be enacted with a very small (or no) budget impact. Enacting the four high-impact policies listed below will save thousands of lives each year and improve the health of millions of Americans.
  1. Authorize FDA regulation of tobacco.
    Tobacco products are currently unregulated; FDA regulation will increase the safety of tobacco products and will reduce tobacco use—the leading preventable cause of death—among minors.
  2. Restore FTC authority to regulate food and beverage marketing aimed at children.
    Parental guidance can be undermined by the marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages aimed at young children. The Federal Trade Commission should be authorized, although not required, to regulate how food is marketed and what kinds of foods are marketed to children.
  3. Increase the cost of alcoholic beverages.
    Increasing the cost of alcohol has been proven to reduce the level and frequency of underage drinking and the serious negative health consequences that result from it. Alcohol excise taxes have not kept pace with inflation, effectively reducing the real cost of alcoholic beverages.
    • Give the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) authority to add and remove coverage for preventive services in Medicare;
    • Extend the eligibility period and remove the deductible from the Welcome to Medicare Visit, which gives new Medicare beneficiaries an important opportunity to receive needed preventive health services; and
    • Create an incentive for states to cover tobacco use screening and treatment in their Medicaid programs.
For the PDF, click here