June 27, 2017
CHICAGO – The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals, opposes the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 under consideration by the U.S. Senate.
In a letter to the Senate Majority and Senate Minority leaders, registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy President Donna Martin said that the current bill fails to improve access to quality health care services or invest in vital nutrition services that would reduce health care spending.
"As it stands, the Senate discussion draft would eliminate investments in prevention and public health, reverse advancements made in disease prevention and chronic care management, and according to nonpartisan analysis, would result in the loss of health care coverage for at least 22 million Americans."
The Academy also strongly opposes the repeal of the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which provides critical support for innovative interventions led by nutrition professionals to improve communities throughout the country. Without federal investment, these effective prevention and public health programs will be eliminated.
As the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals, the Academy recommends that the Senate opposes the Better Care Reconciliation Act, and works with the Academy and other health professionals to find solutions that improve coverage and quality while reducing costs through innovation and enhanced preventive care.
The Academy previously identified five key tenets for analyzing any legislation to reform health care:
- The health of all Americans should improve as a result of our health policy choices. Sufficient resources must be made available to ensure optimal health.
- Access to quality health care is a right that must be extended to all Americans.
- Nutrition services, from pre-conception through end of life, are an essential component of comprehensive health care.
- Stable, sufficient and reliable funding is necessary for our health care system to provide everyone access to a core package of benefits.
- Health care must be patient-centered.
"The Better Care Reconciliation Act fails to meet the Academy's five tenets of health care," Martin wrote. "For these reasons, the Academy strongly urges the Senate to oppose passage of the current version of the bill."
All registered dietitians are nutritionists – but not all nutritionists are registered dietitians. The Academy's Board of Directors and Commission on Dietetic Registration have determined that those who hold the credential registered dietitian (RD) may optionally use"registered dietitian nutritionist" (RDN) instead. The two credentials have identical meanings.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the Academy at eatright.org.