80th Annual Meeting

WHEREAS, a recent study from the American Journal of Preventive Medicine that was presented at the Center for Disease Control & Prevention’s ‘Weight of the Nation’ conference projects that 42 percent of Americans will be obese by 2030, which represents a significant increase from 2010 when 36 percent of the country was obese; and,

WHEREAS, a rise in obesity means a parallel increase in health care spending on the local, state and federal levels; and,

WHEREAS, if obesity rates increase to these projected levels, the U.S. faces an increase of nearly $550 billion in weight-related medical costs, as studies have shown that a significant portion of the increase in health care spending is attributable to obesity; and,

WHEREAS, Diabetes, especially Type 2 Diabetes, is on the rise throughout the U.S. illustrating the need for a national strategy rooted at the local level to head off an explosion in the disease that will negatively affect millions of Americans and further drive up healthcare costs; and,

WHEREAS, spending on diabetic or pre-diabetic patients already totals $206 billion each year, according to a report by a team of experts from UnitedHealth; and,

WHEREAS, it is projected that as diabetes rapidly becomes more common, the cost could grow to $512 billion each year by 2021; and,

WHEREAS, it is projected that 15.4 percent of American adults may have diabetes in 2021, an increase of more than 30 percent, and that an additional 38 percent, or 100 million people, will be pre-diabetic in 2021; and,

WHEREAS, the Governor of the State of California in partnership with SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West and The California Endowment has called for the formation of the Let’s Get Healthy California Task Force, also supported by the California Hospital Association and Kaiser Permanente, that will “develop a 10-year plan for improving the health of all Californians, controlling health care costs, promoting personal responsibility for individual health, and advancing health equity by establishing baselines for key health indicators, identifying obstacles to better care, making fiscally prudent recommendations, and establishing a framework for measuring improvements”; and

WHEREAS, all cities have a stake in making the healthcare system more cost-effective and efficient, and everyone, including doctors, hospitals, healthcare workers, employers, insurance companies, and patients themselves, can contribute to improving quality and reducing costs; and

WHEREAS, preventable and chronic health conditions are detrimental to every citizen’s quality of life, cause disproportionate social and economic burdens, and result in spending, on average, 80% of a state’s total healthcare dollars on just 20% of the population; and

WHEREAS, cities are uniquely positioned to bring together the talent, resources, experience, and innovations of their healthcare workforce, diverse communities, employers, technology and healthcare industries, community-based organizations, organized labor, foundations and others, to develop a plan to reduce the burden of disease and improve the health of all Americans; and

WHEREAS, all cities and states are suffering from increased rates of chronic disease causing a burden on health systems and impacting local and state budgets as well as their current and future workforce productivity and economic vitality; and,

WHEREAS, all cities and states can benefit from a statewide strategy for collecting, prioritizing, and sharing information on the incidence and treatment of chronic disease to help people make informed decisions about their own health and healthcare; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors encourages local governments to work closely with state governments, healthcare workers, employers, insurance companies, health care industries, universities, organized labor, community-based organizations and foundation partners to:

  • Establish Let’s Get Healthy Task Forces in cities across the country in order to set goals for reducing the incidence of chronic disease in our cities that will lessen the growing burden on our health care system and, thereby, strengthen economic vitality and workforce productivity.

  • Advocate for and champion a partnership model between local, regional, state and federal government to galvanize and share expertise, lessons learned and plans for reducing chronic disease and providing models for citizens to live healthier.

  • Develop and coordinate powerful messages that help educate residents about why healthy prevention strategies and regular health screenings are so important to protecting their own health and preventing spiraling healthcare costs.

  • Identify, seek alignment, and leverage strategic initiatives within cities, such as food policy and neighborhood councils, fitness and recreation programs and joint use projects that promote effective prevention strategies to improve the health status of our communities.

  • Utilize city facilities such as libraries and parks as de facto “public health centers” to help spread these health messages to the public and to conduct health screenings and health fairs.

  • Position cities as hubs for information-sharing by foundations and others engaged in efforts surrounding Let’s Get Healthy initiatives across the country.