Legislative Priorities for the 118th Congress

Prioritizing public health programs can help protect every community and the nation from preventable illness and excessive healthcare costs.


Rhea Farberman 202-494-0860 [email protected]

(March 2023) — The COVID-19 pandemic, troubling rates of chronic disease, rising deaths from overdose and suicide, and increasing threats from natural disasters and infectious disease outbreaks all underscore the urgent need to strengthen prevention and public health. Together, these crises contributed to declines in U.S. life expectancy in 2020 and 2021. Despite spending far more on healthcare than any other high-income nation, the U.S. has substantially worse health outcomes, including from preventable causes. Many of these premature deaths and excessive healthcare costs could be averted through a strategic focus on effective prevention and public health. In fact, the median return on investment for public health programs in high-income countries like the U.S. is a staggering $14.3 to $1. The health, safety, and economic security of every community depends on strong and functioning public health and prevention systems at all levels.

TFAH will work with the 118th Congress to pass legislation and secure investments that give every American an opportunity to live a healthy and productive life. TFAH recommends Congress work to:

  • Modernize and Strengthen Public Health in Every Community
  • Prepare the Nation for Health Emergencies and Outbreaks
  • Promote Health and Prevent Chronic Diseases Across the Lifespan
  • Prevent Deaths from Substance Use and Suicide


Read the Full Brief