Morgan Downey, STOP Alliance Policy Advisor, weighs in on where Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is today as it moves closer to the key date, October 1, 2013. What do you need to know? Individual mandate? State exchanges? Essential health benefits?
A recent JAMA article (2014;174:615) that critiqued the FDA’s decision to approve Belviq and Qsymia for weight loss included the following statement: “Although treatment options are limited, obesity is not an emergency – it is not even a disease, but rather a risk factor for disease.” This statement has sparked a vigorous debate.
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View Dr. Richard H. Carmona’s, 17th U.S. Surgeon General and the Alliance’s Health and Wellness Chairperson, letter of support for the Essential Health Benefits Task Force recommendations here.
By Morgan Downey, JD
Obesity is a major public health problem and is growing in prevalence and severity. Projections indicate continued growth with strong gender, race and ethnic differences. Morbid obesity is also increasing significantly. Many obstacles have persisted which have impeded effective public policies to address the issue. Health care reform presents unparalleled opportunities to change the approaches to obesity in a way to positively improve individual and public health. Simple solutions will not be adequate; rather, a complete integration of evidence-based interventions into the nation’s health care system is required. Costs will be significant, yet the costs of inaction will be greater. Recommendations are offered for the integration of obesity prevention and intervention measures.