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National Health Care Coalition Commends New Congress' Focus on Fighting Chronic Disease in House Stimulus Package
Date:1/29/2009

Inclusion of Prevention and Disease Management Funding a Major Step Forward

WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) today lauded the U.S. House of Representatives for including chronic disease prevention and management initiatives in the economic stimulus package.

"Keeping Americans healthy is a critical part of any economic recovery plan," said Ken Thorpe, Ph.D., Executive Director of PFCD, and Chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management at Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health. "The costs associated with preventable, chronic illnesses are crippling the U.S. health care system and weakening our economy."

Chronic conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, consume more than 75 percent of the $2.2 trillion spent on health care in the United States each year - the equivalent of about 2 1/2 economic "bailout" packages. Additionally, as chronic diseases continue to impact more and more Americans, our workforce is depleted, weakening U.S. productivity. The annual economic impact on the U.S. economy could balloon to nearly $6 trillion by the middle of the century.

Yet, studies show that expenditures of just $10 per person on proven preventive interventions could save the country over $16 billion in just five years.

"We need to invest in health policies that encourage prevention and wellness," said Thorpe. "H.R. 1 is a step in the right direction because it includes a number of prevention and wellness programs to address obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, tobacco cessation and smoking prevention. It also includes funding for health information technology improvements, which are critical to improving prevention and management of chronic illness."

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SOURCE Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease
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