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Presidential Debate Over Health Care Costs Highlights Need for Preventive Health Care
Date:9/24/2008

DALLAS, Sept. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- As the presidential political debate over health care costs and the need for prevention heats up, one leading prevention authority thinks some economists are not seeing the larger picture. Frederic Goldstein, president of U.S. Preventive Medicine(R), the leader in disease prevention, disagrees with those who believe prevention doesn't pay for itself.

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While Goldstein agrees that as people live longer they may incur more costs, he says there is evidence to support that living healthy doesn't necessarily have to cost more. "Many people achieve a healthy old age because of preventive actions that minimize the occurrence of high-cost medical conditions," he said.

"Prevention means that we're spending our money wisely, not wastefully as our current 'sick care' system does," said Goldstein. "Contrary to the opinion by some that prevention generates higher costs, sound preventive practices by government and employers can actually promote social good, save money and increase employee productivity through reduced absenteeism and presenteeism, in which an ill employee is at work but is unproductive. To be competitive in a global economy, we need a healthy workforce."

Goldstein points to the platforms of both presidential candidates who are looking to some of the same places for cost savings. Specifically, they advocate preventive care so that high-cost medical conditions might be avoided. The candidates also envision the development of health information technology that would simplify billing, prevent duplicative services and inform doctors about the best and most efficient care.

With people over the age of 85 taking the forefront as the fastest-growing population segment, concern is growing over the strain on Social Security and Medicare as well as on do
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SOURCE U.S. Preventive Medicine
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