Obesity Rates Increasing, Impacting U.S. Health and Deficit

As an advocate of prevention, wellness and early interventions, I discuss the rising rates of obesity prevalence in the U.S. often. As obesity rates among all ages continue to increase, we are faced with an obesity epidemic that is lowering the quality of life for millions of Americans and driving up health care costs in the U.S.

PPACA Generates Savings in Medicare

The Obama Administration released a report Monday, showing significant savings in Medicare due to  PPACA reforms. The report shows Medicare will save approximately $8 billion by the end of next year, and as much as $575 billion over the rest of the decade. These are significant savings and evidence that PPACA is a strong foundation on which to build more quality and cost-savings measures into our current health care system.

We can build on this foundation through increased care coordination and chronic disease prevention efforts.

Obesity, Tobacco Prevention Needed

A recent New York Times article, “Tobacco Funds Shrink as Obesity Fight Intensifies,” included my thoughts on tobacco cessation and obesity prevention and I would like to expand on those thoughts for a moment.

Tobacco use and obesity are both public health threats that drive up health care spending in the US. Reducing tobacco use and obesity prevalence are both key to lowering health costs and saving lives.

Fortunately tobacco rates have been decreasing over the past several decades.

Congressional Recess is Just Around the Corner

Yesterday marked the start of the final two weeks before the 2010 August Congressional recess begins. With all the legislative activity thus far this year, it’s hard to believe August is just around the corner and election season is fast approaching. I applaud Congress and the Obama Administration for their strong implementation efforts and wish them a restful recess in their home states.

While things will slow down a bit in Washington over the next month, I hope the nation continues talking about the implementation process and health care reform.

Workplace Wellness Done Right

There’s been a lot of coverage recently on preventive coverage. But a New York Times article today, “For Chronic Care, Your Employer May Be Able to Help,” looks at a different kind of preventive care: workplace wellness programs. The article discusses workplace wellness and the strengths and weaknesses of various programs.

Chronic disease knows no age, cost boundaries

High cholesterol – for adults, typically a gateway condition to chronic diseases such as heart disease and hypertension – is now affecting Americans at even younger ages. According to new data from the CDC, up to one quarter of young adults (men aged 20 to 35 years; women aged 20 to 45 years) in the U.S.

White House Video on Preventive Care

First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden recorded a video message on provisions in the PPACA,which require insurance plans to pay the entire cost of recommended, preventive services starting in September. View the video here.

Open Comment Period: Prevention in Medicare

CMS is accepting comments until August 24th on a proposed rule on implementation of new Medicare preventive health benefits. Trust for America’s Health has posted the CMS announcement here:

Instructions on how to submit comments are also on the TFAH Web site:

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