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

rm," said Husten. "Real health reform starts with prevention."

More than two-thirds of all deaths in the U.S. are caused by one or more of five chronic diseases: heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), chronic disease accounts for about 75 percent of the nation's aggregate health care spending - or about $5,300 per person in the U.S. each year.

"Unfortunately, the current health care delivery system focuses much more on treatment and reaction than it does on prevention and predictive action," said Fred Sanfilippo, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president for health affairs at Emory University. "This is largely the result of a payment system that's more interested in reducing short-term expenses than in improving long-term outcome and patient satisfaction."

In his remarks, PFCD Executive Director Ken Thorpe noted the importance the Obama Administration and leaders in the 111th Congress have placed on moving forward a comprehensive health reform bill to address cost, quality, and coverage early in 2009.

"Senate leaders like Senators Max Baucus and Ted Kennedy have been very active in anticipation of the new Administration and have already begun to lay the framework for legislation. By developing comprehensive proposals at the outset of the 111th Congress, these efforts signal that this is going to be a very high priority in the next session and will move quickly."

A number of other prominent health, media and political experts spoke at the event:

  • Alan Aviles, President, NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation
  • Robert Bixby, Executive Director, Concord Coalition
  • David Broder, Washington Post
  • Mary Agnes Carey, Associate Editor, CQ Healthbeat
  • John Castella
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SOURCE Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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