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(Extensions of Remarks - April 25, 2013)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E544]


                               speech of

                        HON. SHEILA JACKSON LEE

                                of texas

                    in the house of representatives

                       Wednesday, April 24, 2013

  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Madam Speaker, I rise in opposition to the rule on 
H.R. 1549, the so-called ``Helping Sick Americans Act.''
  This ill-conceived and misguided legislation takes funds from the 
Prevention and Public Health Fund to increase financing of the Pre-
Existing Condition Insurance Program, PCIP. This sounds laudable but 
the facts are that this bill hurts an important program that our nation 
needs. The rule for the bill does not address the problems with this 
  Cutting funding from public health funds is a risky move. We know 
from countless studies that money invested in public health is a solid 
investment. It improves the lives of thousands of Americans, especially 
our most vulnerable members: the elderly, the young, the sick, the 
disabled and the poor.
  In March 2010, Congress passed and President Obama signed the 
historic health reform law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care 
Act. In addition to extending life-saving health insurance coverage to 
31 million by 2019, the law includes a suite of provisions that have 
the potential to substantially reform our nation's health care system.
  One of these provisions is the establishment of the Prevention and 
Public Health Fund. This is the nation's first dedicated mandatory 
federal funding stream for public health and prevention activities.
  The Prevention Fund was created to increase the nation's investment 
in prevention in order to improve health outcomes and decrease health 
care costs.
  In the first two years of its existence, 2010 and 2011, the Fund 
provided $1.25 billion for critical programs that prevent tobacco use, 
decrease HIV rates, increase physical activity and healthy eating, 
increase immunization rates, and many other activities.
  States and communities across the nation are already implementing and 
benefiting from these programs.
  Public health is an essential component of the U.S. health system: 
its infrastructure and prevention-based programs wrap around clinical 
health systems to improve population health and reduce health care 
  Local health departments work with a wide range of community partners 
to create conditions and policies that help people make healthy 
choices, such as avoiding tobacco use, becoming more physically active, 
and eating healthier foods. All these proactive measures contribute to 
the prevention of chronic diseases and associated risk factors like 
obesity and smoking.
  For all of these reasons, I urge my colleagues to join me in opposing 
this rule.



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