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National Leaders Say Need for Health Care Reform 'Urgent'
Date:12/10/2008

Business, Health Care Leaders and Key Congressional Staff Members Discuss Overwhelming Private Sector Support for Reform, Need for Strong Bipartisan Political Leadership

WASHINGTON,Dec. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --Reforming America's health system is critical to any efforts to rebuild the nation's economy, leaders from the business, health, and policymaking communities declared at a forum in Washington, D.C. today. Participants in "Rhetoric to Reality: The Urgency of Health Reform" also said effective health reform would help stem costs that are overwhelming the health care system by addressing the rise in chronic diseases that are currently driving 75 percent of health spending.

The event brought together business and health care leaders, members of the media, and key Congressional staff for one of the most wide-ranging public discussions of health reform since the November election. It was sponsored by the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, Partnership for Prevention, Divided We Fail and the Emory Institute for Advanced Policy Solutions.

"President-elect Obama has signaled that he would like to make health care a key priority, but with so many pressing domestic issues as well as a war in Iraq, how do we move health reform from the realm of rhetoric to a tangible reality?" said Kenneth E. Thorpe, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease and the Emory Institute for Advanced Policy Solutions, in his keynote address to open the half-day event.

"For many of us, the answer is clear: We must draw upon the overwhelming support from all those with a stake in Americans' health - interests from the public and non-profit sector, as well as private industry - and look for areas of true consensus in health care. At the top of the list is the need for better public and private policies to promote prevention and management of chronic illness."

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SOURCE Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease
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