Congressman Charles B. Rangel released the following statement to recognize the importance of National Public Health Week, April 1-7, 2013:
"I hope that everyone in our congressional district and country will join me in observing National Public Health Week, April 1-7, 2013. Since 1995 the first full week of April was declared national public Health Week (NPHW) to recognize the contributions of public health and to highlight issues that are critical to improving our nation. Public Health improves the conditions and behaviors that affect the health of each and every one of us. Public Health ensures that we have safe, healthy communities.
This year's National Public Health Week theme is "Public Health is ROI: Save Lives, Save money" highlights the value of prevention and the importance of well-supported public health systems in preventing disease, saving lives and curbing health care spending. Much like the business world, ROI indicates the return on investments. Investing just $10 per person each year in proven, community-based public health efforts could save the nation more than 16 billion within five years. That's a $5.60 return for every $1 invested. America spends more than twice what most other industrialized nations spend on health care and we still have poor health outcomes. A major reason for this startling fact is that we spend only 3 percent of our health care dollars on preventing diseases (as opposed to treating them), when 75 percent of our health care costs are related to preventable conditions
I sponsored The Patient Protection and Affordability Care Act, because I feel passionate about uninsured Americans who suffer from chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. The passage of this bill on March 23, 2010, ensures that more Americans than ever before will have insurance coverage for mounting medical expenses. Also Included in this bill is the creation of the Prevention and Public Health Fund, a new mandatory fund for prevention and public health. The Fund is intended to provide a stable and increased investment in activities that will enable communities to stay healthy in the first place.
Thanks to the great work of the American Public Health Association (APHA) who serves as the organizer of National Public Health Week and the efforts of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, great strides have been made in raising the awareness about public health and prevention.
However, our work is far from done. In Congress, I will continue to support reliable funding of public health and stand-up for the Prevention and Public Health Fund which helps to provide funding for community-based prevention activities and programs that reduce deaths due to preventable causes. Our current and future generations must not be deprived of the opportunity to live long, healthy lives. Working together, I am optimistic that we can achieve this outcome."