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Modernize CBO Scoring: The Preventative Health Savings Act

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (TX-26) and Congresswoman Donna Christensen (D-VI) have introduced The Preventative Health Savings Act of 2012, H.R. 6482. The legislation would create a more accurate budget scoring system for legislation dealing with health care spending, and would allow the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to collect data past the current ten year window.

"As health care costs continue to rise, we must apply all applicable data to ensure that the CBO accurately measures the cost of preventative health care and long term cost savings," said Dr. Burgess who serves as Vice Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Health and is Chairman of the Congressional Health Care Caucus. "Chronic diseases account for over seventy percent of all health care spending, and this legislation will help bend the cost curve and provide long-term costs savings. Allowing the CBO to analyze scientific data, and having the ability to provide projects past the ten year scoring window will provide a more accurate projection for programs with children and other populations or diseases with longer development periods. This legislation is a responsible approach and will ensure that the government calculates the savings of preventative health."

"This legislation will play an integral not only in modernizing the CBO scoring of prevention, but also in ensuring that pay-fors that likely exist in health bills that have robust preventive health provisions are more adequately captured and calculated," added Congresswoman Christensen, a physician and Chair of the CBC Health Braintrust. "Additionally, this legislation will play a key role in helping to reduce the racial and ethnic, as well as gender and geographic disparities that exist across all of the nation's most costly chronic conditions and diseases because it will play a pivotal role in ensuring that sound and forward-thinking preventive health proposals are given a more accurate score and thus chance to move in Congress."

The bill will define preventative care narrowly and will require that associated treatments be credible and proven through publicly available epidemiological projection models that incorporate human clinical trials or observational studies. This approach is already taking place in the private sector and this legislation will allow, with bipartisan agreement, for the federal government to catch-up.

Upon introduction, the legislation was co-sponsored by: Brett Guthrie (KY-02), Steve Womack (AR-03), Sue Myrick (NC-09), Leonard Lance (NJ-07), Marsha Blackburn (TN-7), Phil Gingrey (GA-11), Bill Cassidy (LA-06), Tim Griffin (AR-02), Kay Granger (TX-12), Barbara Lee (CA-09), Laura Richardson (CA-31), Gwen Moore (WI-04), Danny K. Davis (IL-07), Chuck Fleischmann (TN-03), and Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-34).

The legislation is supported by: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Aetna, American Association of Diabetes Educators, American College of Occupational Medicine, American College of Preventative Medicine, American Diabetes Association, Building Healthier America, BlueCross BlueShield Tennessee, Care Continuum Alliance, Council for Affordable Health Coverage, Dialysis Patient Citizens, The Endocrine Society, Healthcare Leadership Council, Healthways, International Health Racquet & Sportsclub Association, Johnson & Johnson, Marshfield Clinic, MemorialCare Health System, National Retail Federation, National Kidney Foundation, Novo Nordisk, Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, Sanofi, Texas Health Resources, and Weight Watchers.

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