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IOM Report: Revitalizing Law and Policy

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

For the Public’s Health: Revitalizing Law and Policy to Meet New Challenges

For the Public’s Health: Revitalizing Law and Public Policy to Meet New Challenges, the second of three reports by the Committee on Public Health Strategies to Improve Health, builds on earlier Institute of Medicine efforts to describe the activities and role of the public health system. As defined in the 2003 report The Future of the Public’s Health in the 21st Century (IOM, 2003), the system is multi-sectoral and comprises governmental public health agencies and various partners, including the community (individuals and organizations), the clinical care delivery system, employers and business, the mass media, and academia, or more broadly, the education sector. The committee’s first report (IOM, 2011) redefines the system as simply “the health system.” By using this term, the committee seeks to reinstate the proper and evidence-based understanding of health as not merely the result of clinical care, but the result of the sum of what we do as a society to create the conditions in which people can be healthy (IOM, 1988).

Recommendation 5: The committee recommends that when the federal government regulates state authority, and the states regulate local authority in the area of public health, their actions, wherever appropriate, should set minimum standards (floor preemption) allowing states and localities to further protect the health and safety of their inhabitants. Preemption should avoid language that hinders public health action.

Read the report

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