The historic passage of last night’s health care reform bill will positively effect millions of American’s with immediate benefits as outlined in the House Democrat’s blog :

  • Prohibit pre-existing condition exclusions for children in all new plans;
  • Provide immediate access to insurance for uninsured Americans who are uninsured because of a pre-existing condition through a temporary high-risk pool;
  • Prohibit dropping people from coverage when they get sick in all individual plans;
  • Lower seniors’ prescription drug prices by beginning to close the donut hole;
  • Offer tax credits to small businesses to purchase coverage;
  • Eliminate lifetime limits and restrictive annual limits on benefits in all plans;
  • Require plans to cover an enrollee’s dependent children until age 26;
  • Require new plans to cover preventive services and immunizations without cost-sharing;
  • Ensure consumers have access to an effective in and external appeals process to appeal new insurance plan decisions;
  • Require premium rebates to enrollees from insurers with high administrative expenditures and require public disclosure of the percent of premiums applied to overhead costs.

This is great news for lowering costs, stopping the rapacious abuses leveled by insurance companies, giving small businesses more control over their health care choices while giving millions of Americans a peace of mind that they won’t go bankrupt from an illness.

But health care is not only “care when someone is sick.” It is also managing one’s wellness through times of health to maintain vitality and stave off the need for extensive and expensive treatment.  Most doctors, both eastern and western medicine practioners, agree that a commitment to your body’s healthy balance with wise dietary choices and an active lifestyle will greatly reduce the ricks of the most ubiquitous diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease amongst so many other ailments. However, over decades of widely available access to junk food, food deserts, lack of health education in the past and an increased sedentary lifestyle has adversely trained American children with poor eating and health habits that follow them into their adult years and often lead to devastating health problems.  The disconnect between food, exercise and health is deep and for America to truly  become a healthy nation (and to reign in health care costs), we need to grow awareness of prevention and wellness.

Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, has tirelessly championed the President’s health care reform and while the dust settles from the whirlwind Washingtonian hurricane of debate, little attention is being given to her fight for prevention. Today she announced the Communities Putting Prevention to Work that will invest $370 million in tobacco and obesity-prevention programs in cities, towns, rural areas, and tribal communities across America over the next two years.

Recipients of the grants will use their award to make healthy food more affordable, make vending options in schools healthier, develop community gardens, improve access to recreation space,  support physical activity and recreation, create healthier environments in schools and to tackle the tobacco use through a model tobacco prevention initiative that is truly a community-wide effort.

This is great news in advancing a paradigm shift where people are more connected to their health and empowered through education and options to create and maintain vibrant health.

To learn more, go to


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