Federal Public Health and The Affordable Care Act and Public Health Reform

Federal Public Health and The Affordable Care Act and Public Health Reform

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The health of the American people lags behind those from other developed countries. Federal public health agencies have a wide range of responsibilities and functions which includes public health research, funding, and oversight of direct healthcare providers. It has been a long time since changes have been made to the way the federal government structures its health care roles and programs outside of Medicare and Medicaid (Trust, 2013). With healthcare reform on the horizon now is the time to invest time and money in prevention, not medicine, making it a top priority to improve health and prevent disease. Funding efforts at all levels of the public health continuum need to focus on developing programs aimed at such leading initiatives as tobacco cessation, improving nutrition, supplying safe workplaces, and increasing physical activity in all ages of the population. People should have equal access to quality preventative medicine and education.

State and local public health departments throughout the country have the responsibility for improving health in workplaces, schools, and communities through identifying top health problems within society and developing a plan to improve. Barriers the public health system has encountered over the years include: changes in the overall health system that support cost containment and improved health, and an increase in the number of individuals with insurance coverage for direct preventive services; reduction of qualified public health professional and funding at all levels of government; increasing focus on accountability, with higher expectations for demonstrating a return on investment in terms of cost and health improvement (Trust, 2013). In the near future, health departments ...


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...ion. The HHS Secretary will provide funding for
research in public health services and systems to examine best prevention practices. Federal health
programs will collect and report data by race, ethnicity, primary language and any other indicator of
disparity. The CDC will evaluate best employer wellness practices and provide an educational
campaign and technical assistance to promote the benefits of worksite health promotion. A new CDC
program will help state, local, and tribal public health agencies to improve surveillance for and
responses to infectious diseases and other important conditions. An Institute of Medicine Conference
on Pain Care will evaluate the adequacy of pain assessment, treatment, and management; identify and
address barriers to appropriate pain care; increase awareness; and report to Congress on findings and
recommendations.

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