Statement of Harold Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association in Response to the State of the Union Address

Washington, D.C. (January 28, 2014)

Harold Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association issued the following statement on the 2014 State of the Union address:

“The American Lung Association looks forward to working with President Obama in 2014 to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease.” 

On Climate Change

“The United States urgently needs to reduce the health threats of our changing climate, starting with the biggest sources of carbon pollution. The American Lung Association is heartened tonight to hear President Obama reiterate his commitment to placing sensible limits on carbon pollution from power plants.”

“It makes no sense to allow power plants to emit unlimited amounts of carbon pollution into the air. Scientists tell us that higher temperatures can enhance the conditions that form ozone (smog), a serious health threat, especially for those with lung disease. Higher temperatures will make it harder to reduce smog, increasing the risk of unhealthy ozone levels in the future in large parts of the United States. More smog means more childhood asthma attacks and complications for others with lung disease.”

“President Obama can make the next generation of America’s power plants the least toxic and most modern in the world.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must set standards that limit carbon pollution from tomorrow’s plants and propose standards this year for cleaning up today’s plants. Anything less shortchanges our children and our health.”

Access to healthcare

“For millions of Americans with lung disease, the Affordable Care Act guarantees that they cannot be denied coverage.  For far too long, people living with lung disease were prevented from managing their disease because of their ‘pre-existing’ condition.  The Affordable Care Act ended that, and now the American Lung Association is pleased to be helping Americans with lung disease find access to care.”    

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About the American Lung Association
Now in its second century, the American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. With your generous support, the American Lung Association is “Fighting for Air” through research, education and advocacy. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or visit www.lung.org.