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Obama administration prescribes prevention for nation's health

NPR, June 17, 2011

Obama administration officials unveiled a plan to improve our nation's prosperity. No, not with more jobs, but by helping Americans stay healthy at every stage of life. But first, they got a workout congratulating each other on a job well done with the National Prevention Strategy, a plan required by the federal law overhauling health care, during a Thursday media briefing. Some of the key players behind the plan, including Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Surgeon General Regina Benjamin and Senator Tom Harkin, were on hand to outline a broad, and sometimes cryptic, blueprint for improving the nation's health. Sebelius said the plan "will help us transform our health care system away from a focus on sickness and disease to a focus on prevention and wellness." That shift, she said, would help "people live long and productive lives and can help combat rising health care costs." Some 17 federal agencies are expected to be involved in executing the plan, which was developed by the National Prevention Council. The plan would draw on a wide range of health workers, institutions, community-based organizations and government agencies for help.

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