Group urges lawmakers to improve programs to bolster workforce health
At a special Capitol Hill briefing in early June, ACOEM President Pamela Hymel led a discussion on the organization's advocacy plan. The briefing was the latest effort in ACOEM's Healthy Workforce Now initiative, which it launched last fall. The program's agenda calls for employer-provided health plans to require health promotion and disease prevention programs. It also calls for the implementation of workforce health initiatives within federal agencies and numerous other worker health-improvement incentives.
Hymel told lawmakers that studies indicate that the overall health of the American workforce is on the decline with a dramatic rise in recent years of chronic disease across all age groups. At the same time, she said, the aging of the baby boomers is changing the profile of the workplace and putting additional pressure on country's health care system.
"The balance between healthy workers, who are economic net contributors, and those dependent on government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, is undergoing a radical shift," Hymel said. "If a downward health trend continues in the workforce, the nation will be unable to meet its obligations to its long-term health care programs. We must find a way to bolster and improve the health and productivity of our national workforce."
July 9, 2009
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