A bill from Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) would order more than 30 federal actions to encourage healthier living, from a penalty on certain tobacco manufacturers to targets for reducing sodium in U.S. foods.
Harkin, who leads the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, described the bill as a comprehensive step forward for preventive healthcare in the United States.
He vowed that his bill, introduced Tuesday for the sixth time, would reduce healthcare costs and spending in Medicare and Medicaid.
“Improving public health starts with prevention,” he said in a statement. “Taking steps to improve access to healthier options, exercise opportunities, food labeling, and tobacco cessation will not only help stave off chronic disease — it will also save consumers and taxpayers money in the long run.”
The Healthier Lifestyles and Prevention America Act contains a long list of small federal moves to encourage wellness, including measures to encourage better nutrition and more physical activity in schools and communities.