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Alexander: Surgeon General Focus on Wellness Could Have Real Impact on Lives of Millions of Americans

Says there is a consensus that lifestyle changes like eating healthier or quitting smoking can prevent illness, reduce health care costs

WASHINGTON, November 15, 2017 — At a Senate health committee hearing today with Surgeon General Jerome Adams, Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said that Dr. Adams’ focus on wellness could have a real impact on the lives of millions of Americans.         

“Dr. Adams said at his confirmation hearing he would make wellness a centerpiece of his agenda and has said his first Surgeon General’s Report will focus on health and the economy,” said Alexander. “It makes sense for that to be his focus, because there is a remarkable consensus that wellness – lifestyle changes like eating healthier and quitting smoking – can prevent serious illness and reduce health care costs.

 Alexander continued: “At a hearing we held last month on wellness, we heard from witnesses that employers can have a powerful impact on their employee’s health. Many employers have developed wellness programs that reward behaviors such as exercising or eating better or offer employees a percentage off their insurance premiums for doing things like maintaining a healthy weight or keeping their cholesterol levels in check.”

“A healthier workplace translates to the greater community being healthier. And overall healthy community is more economically productive – there are fewer workplace accidents, less absenteeism, and a higher rate of engagement.”

Alexander concluded: “Dr. Adams’s motto as Surgeon General is ‘better health through better partnerships,’ and I hope this committee can be one partner going forward.”

On October 19, the committee held a hearing on wellness and what can be done to encourage people to make healthier lifestyle choices to help prevent serious illnesses and reduce health care costs.

Alexander’s full remarks here.