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Harkin: In Signing Executive Order, President Institutes First Federal Inter-Agency Prevention Effort

June 11, 2010

Harkin: In Signing Executive Order, President Institutes First Federal Inter-Agency Prevention Effort

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today issued the following statement after President Obama signed an executive order establishing the National Prevention, Health Promotion and Public Health Council.  The Council was authorized under the new health reform law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  Harkin, who now chairs the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, crafted the Prevention and Public Health title of the HELP Committee’s health reform proposal as a senior member of the panel.  He has been a leader in efforts to invest in prevention and wellness for over a decade.

“In order to create a true, wellness society and rein in chronic disease, all federal agencies must be engaged.  That was our goal in health reform – to make the largest investment in prevention and wellness and create incentives to rein in costs across the full health care spectrum: at the federal, clinical and grassroots levels. 

“The President took the first step to make the promise of prevention a reality when he signed health reform into law, but in signing this executive order today, we mark another significant milestone in our goal of coordinating federal efforts and improving the health and wellbeing of our society.”

TITLE IV—PREVENTION OF CHRONIC DISEASE AND IMPROVING PUBLIC HEALTH

Subtitle A – Modernizing Disease Prevention and Public Health Systems

Sec. 4001. National Prevention, Health Promotion and Public Health Council.  Creates an interagency council dedicated to promoting healthy policies at the Federal level.  The Council shall consist of representatives of Federal agencies that interact with Federal health and safety policy, including the departments of HHS, Agriculture, Education, Labor, Transportation and others.  The Council will establish a national prevention and health promotion strategy and develop interagency working relationships to implement the strategy.  The Council will report annually to Congress on the health promotion activities of the Council and progress in meeting goals of the national strategy.