Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Arkansas Lawmakers Discuss Health Care Agenda For Next General Assembly

“Arkansas lawmakers will focus on health issues, including access to care, emergency care, childhood obesity and Medicaid, in the 87th General Assembly, state Surgeon General Joe Thompson said Wednesday at the second annual Arkansas Health Summit, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports. According to the Democrat-Gazette, the meeting of about 150 state lawmakers, physicians and health officials was an opportunity for policymakers and others to learn about the state's health care issues before the start of the legislative session in January. Arkansas Department of Health Director Paul Halverson said the state Legislature also will examine injury prevention, strategies to lower the infant mortality rate, improving oral health and developing a statewide coordination system for trauma and emergency care personnel. Thompson said, ‘We've got to start thinking of our health like an investment.’ State Rep. Eddie Hawkins (D) said it would be better for the state to promote healthier lifestyles and behaviors through marketing than through mandates. Hawkins said, ‘What I find with people is the more we try to mandate ... the more they try to fight that’ (Park, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 8/21).”


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