A number of public health initiatives were passed by Congress in the health bill, illustrating a "sea change in federal health programs and policy," according to The New York Times.
The report looks at a few of the initiatives, including clauses that say chain restaurants must provide nutrition information on menus; employers must provide breaks for nursing mothers; health insurers must cover recommended screenings; and a federal trust will be set up to fund bike paths, playgrounds, sidewalks, and trails.
(Porter Novelli's Peter Pitts talks to PRWeek about the effect the healthcare law will have on the food industry here.)
The Times writes:
Many of the public health initiatives — but not all — had bipartisan support. The law provides $5 billion over five years for a “prevention and public health fund,” which will provide money to state and local governments and community organizations ... Senator Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma, said he agreed with parts of the law that would help prevent chronic diseases. But, he complained, the law also creates “a slush fund to build sidewalks, jungle gyms, farmers' markets and other pork barrel projects.