The just-released House Republicans' payroll tax plan aims to increase doctors’ Medicare reimbursement by dramatically cutting the Prevention and Public Health Fund--by more than two-thirds. Again and again we’ve stated, and polls of Americans have confirmed, that prevention is critical to fixing our health care system. But prevention funding is again on the table for cuts. We're sending a letter to Congress urging them to reject any bill that would use any portion of the Fund to address the “doc fix.” Please sign on now and consider sending your own letter.
We must address the rates that Medicare pays doctors, but doing so by raiding the prevention fund is a short-sighted solution that will cost money, not save it. Quality, affordable medical care and community prevention work hand-in-hand.
Public health is not separate from health care delivery. In fact, in a new national survey from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 3 out of 4 physicians surveyed wished our current health care system would cover the costs of addressing their patients’ social needs, the very needs community prevention resolves–-such as lack of safe open spaces for physical activity and lack of meaningful access to affordable housing and nutritious food. Furthermore, 85% of physicians reported that it was as important to address these unmet social needs as medical conditions.
Using the Fund as an offset for the “doc fix” takes our country backward, stifling the opportunity to build a health care system where public health and health care are fully integrated. As our paper, Community Centered Health Homes, has shown, we will better advance the health and well-being of our nation by helping public health and health care work together better, not by pitting them against each other.
Sign on to our letter to Congress, and consider sending your own.