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IHRSA Advocate

The IHRSA Advocate is your guide to knowing and understanding the policies that influence daily health club operations. We analyze the action, so you know when to take your own.

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Entries in Senator Tom Harkin (14)


WHIP Introduced in Senate

Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa reintroduced the Workforce Health Improvement Program Act (WHIP) as part of a comprehensive wellness bill known as the Healthier Lifestyles and Prevention America Act (HeLP America Act). HeLP is aimed at reducing obesity, chronic disease and health care costs.

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Senate Votes in Favor of Prevention

Yesterday, the US Senate voted in favor of preventative health care, striking down a proposal to strip funding to the Prevention and Public Health Fund. Introduced by Nebraska Senator Mike Johanns, the proposal would have eliminated $11 billion toward the promotion of physical activity, tobacco cessation, vaccine programs, and cancer screenings.

Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, chairman of the Senate Health Committee, led the opposition to the amendment and expressed appreciation for the Senate’s decision.

"We have systematically neglected wellness and disease prevention in this country--as evidenced by the fact that the United States spends twice as much per capita on health care as European countries, but is twice as sick with chronic disease. This amendment perpetuated the disastrous notion that we can neglect and de-fund prevention efforts without paying a huge long-term cost in unnecessary chronic disease and disability--as well as skyrocketing health insurance premiums. In blocking it, the Senate upheld the old principle that an ounce of prevention truly is worth a pound of cure."

Read more about this victory for preventative care, here.


House Passes the FIT Kids Act

Last Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives debated and passed the Fitness Integrated with Teaching Kids Act (FIT Kids, H.R. 1585). The legislation, which amends elementary and secondary school regulations regarding physical activity, was introduced by Congressmen Ron Kind (D-Wis.) and Jay Inslee (D-Wash.), and had 113 co-sponsors in the House. The bill is now before the Senate, where supporters are calling on Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), who is the sponsor of the Senate version, to push for a vote.

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Health Care Reform Still Possible

Throughout the ongoing debate in Washington, IHRSA has been very closely monitoring all developments and opportunities to encourage measures to support physical activity as a vital part of health care reform.

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