Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in America and the world as a whole. It also causes lifelong disabilities to some people and reduces their quality of life since they are unable to reintegrate into society. To reduce the prevalence of CVD, politician Christopher Smith introduced a bill H.Res. 128 to the 117th Congress. The petition seeks to acknowledge the rise of cardiac disease as the root cause of preventable death and disability worldwide. It also aims to encourage people to take personal responsibility for their wellbeing, fund research for CVD, and improve medical systems to support patients. This essay analyzes bill H.Res. 128, evaluates how it will impact cardiovascular health in the country, and offers recommendations from a Christian perspective.
Overview and Severity of the Health Problem
Heart disease encompasses stroke, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy, high blood pressure, and arrhythmia. According to the American Heart Association, approximately 48% of the population has some form of the disease (McClellan et al., 2019). Globally, it causes about 18 million deaths yearly, while in America, this figure is about 660,000 deaths annually, which translates to 25% of recorded deaths (McClellan et al., 2019). These statistics show a high prevalence of the sickness and underscore the need for fast action to curb it. Some of the risk factors for CVD include diabetes, inactivity, smoking, being overweight or obese, and ethnic background (Saeed et al., 2018). Heart disease can be prevented by practicing a healthful lifestyle. The bill mentioned acknowledges past research and then proposes solutions to the problem.
Overview of the Bill and Expected Outcomes
The bill, which will affect all Americans if passed, was sponsored by Christopher Smith and Joyce Beatty on 15th February and has since then garnered four other sponsors who joined on 18th February. The proposal is titled “Recognizing the rise of cardiovascular disease as the world’s leading cause of preventable death and disability and as the global public health crisis of our generation and supporting the recognition of February 2021 as “American Heart Month” (Bill H.Res. 128- 117th Congress, 2021). It is still in the first stage of the parliamentary process and must be reviewed by the Committee before being sent to the Senate or House.
If the policy is passed, it will impact all American citizens. It seeks to increase knowledge about the causes, risks, and prevention of heart disease. The sponsors believe it will be a reaffirmation of the government’s efforts to combat the disease by investing in research and affordable medical care for all. The funded studies will investigate disparities in CVD infection and death rates concerning ethnicity and race. This is crucial because research shows that some populations, such as African Americans, are disproportionately affected by cardiac diseases (Bell et al., 2018). The supporters also think it will improve the country’s health infrastructure and the quality of life for people with disabilities resulting from CVD. In addition, commemorating February as the “American Heart Month” will further increase knowledge about this global crisis.
On the other hand, some people may challenge the bill. Since it is still relatively new in Congress, there are currently no contenders. However, it is possible to anticipate the reasons for any opposition that they might give in the future. First, critics could argue that the policy will be too expensive to enact. The costs of providing affordable cardiac care to all Americans and funding research on CVD are high and that will result in a budget deficit for the country. In addition to this, some people are already against equitable healthcare for all (Teitelbaum & Wilensky, 2016). Opposing groups might also claim that creating awareness about the prevention, risk, and treatment of heart disease is not a state responsibility. The sponsors need to analyze the possible arguments that could be raised against this bill to know how to counter them.
There are several ways to address the ongoing cardiovascular disease crisis. The bill is one way of achieving reduced morbidity and mortality rates of CVD. By teaching people about the ways to prevent this sickness, they will take precautions to stay healthy. It is also essential to raise funds for treatment and research. Sources of finance include the government, charity organizations, and individuals. The studies will be particularly impactful to low-and middle-income populations since they are the most susceptible to CVD. Next, the government should improve the medical care system since by doing so, it will decrease the prevalence of conditions such as diabetes and obesity, which are risk factors for CVD. It will also facilitate subsidized screening and treatment for the illness.
From a Biblical worldview, the policy is sound and should be passed. It will improve the quality of healthcare in the country and alleviate hardships faced by people disabled from cardiovascular diseases. Additionally, it will make care affordable and accessible, which is following theological teachings to provide treatment to all who need it. Matthew 9:12 reads, “Those who well do not need a physician, but the sick do” (The Bible: Authorized King James Version, 2008). Additionally, since the policy seeks to help the sick and prevent others from falling ill, it is a charitable act that is comparable to the Good Samaritan’s actions. The parable also teaches Christians to treat everyone equally, regardless of ethnicity or status. If passed, the bill will make cardiovascular healthcare affordable for all, irrespective of their economic status, thereby abiding by scriptural teachings on equality.
Bill H.Res. 128 seeks to reduce CVD morbidity and mortality rates. It proposes to invest in research on this illness, including an inquiry on why some races and ethnicities are more susceptible to it and how to remedy this. It also seeks to promote awareness about the causes, risk factors, and prevention of heart disease. Finally, it recommends affordable, quality healthcare for all Americans to mitigate disability and reduce mortality caused by CVD. If passed, the policy will reduce the infection and death rates of the leading cause of preventable death in America.
.Bell, C. N., Thorpe Jr, R. J., Bowie, J. V., & LaVeist, T. A. (2018). Race disparities in cardiovascular disease risk factors within socioeconomic status strata. Annals of epidemiology, 28(3), 147-152. Web.
McClellan, M., Brown, N., Califf, R. M., & Warner, J. J. (2019). Call to action: urgent challenges in cardiovascular disease: a presidential advisory from the American Heart Association. Circulation, 139(9). Web.
Recognizing the rise of cardiovascular disease as the world’s leading cause of preventable death and disability and as the global public health crisis of our generation and supporting the recognition of February 2021 as “American Heart Month”, H.Res. 128 — 117th Congress (2021). Web.
Saeed, A., Dabhadkar, K., Virani, S. S., Jones, P. H., Ballantyne, C. M., & Nambi, V. (2018). Cardiovascular disease prevention: Training opportunities, the challenges, and future directions. Current atherosclerosis reports, 20(7), 1-7. Web.
Teitelbaum, J. B., & Wilensky, S. E. (2019). Essentials of health policy and law. R. Riegelman, (Ed.). Jones & Bartlett Publishers.
The Bible: Authorized King James Version. (2008). OUP Oxford.