Good news! This morning Senator Johanns' (R, NE) amendment to the small business jobs bill was defeated. The amendment aimed to free business from IRS reporting red tape, but tried to offset costs by gutting the landmark Prevention and Public Health Fund. Today, the senate stood up for prevention.
"Today the Senate voted to block an attack on the Prevention Trust Fund--an attack that represented the same old penny-wise-pound-foolish thinking that now makes America's health care system so costly and ineffective," Senator Tom Harkin told us this morning. "We have systematically neglected wellness and disease prevention in this country--as evidenced by the fact that the United States spends twice as much per capita on health care as European countries, but is twice as sick with chronic disease. This amendment perpetuated the disastrous notion that we can neglect and de-fund prevention efforts without paying a huge long-term cost in unnecessary chronic disease and disability--as well as skyrocketing health insurance premiums. In blocking it, the Senate upheld the old principle that an ounce of prevention truly is worth a pound of cure."
Prevention is good for small business, good for our economy, and good for our health. The Johanns amendment tried to pit small business against the health and vitality of our communities. Our senators showed true courage today, and listened to what public health and prevention proponents are saying across the country: small businesses benefit from prevention--we all benefit from prevention.
Thanks to each of you for your hard work--your efforts to defend prevention have had real results, and our vision for strong healthy communities has more support than ever.