WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Sen. Harkin Talks Health Care in SEIA

West Burlington, IA – One U.S. Senator says wellness and prevention will be points of emphasis in any health care reform bill.

Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) says the focus of the United States health care system must change. He says it has to move away from caring for someone only after they get sick and towards wellness and prevention to keep people from getting sick.

Senator Harkin serves on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee. The panel has crafted its own version of a plan for implementing health care reform.

Senator Harkin says his focus has been on the prevention, wellness, and public health portion of the legislation. It has already received H.E.L.P. committee approval.

Senator Harkin says this version of health care reform requires free preventative services such as mammograms, colonoscopies, and diabetes screenings and provides tax benefits for businesses implementing employee wellness programs. He says the legislation also requires certain restaurants to post calorie information and requires insurance reimbursements for preventative services.

Senator Tom Harkin made his comments during a recent stop in West Burlington. The meeting was rather quiet, compared to the reception other lawmakers are receiving as they return from Washington D.C. to their home districts.