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Trust for America's Health Applauds Daschle's Commitment to Prevention
Date:1/8/2009

WASHINGTON, Jan. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Trust for America's Health (TFAH) welcomed the testimony of U.S. Secretary-Designate of Health and Human Services (HHS) Tom Daschle before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions today and supports his goal to prioritize prevention in the new Administration. Daschle testified that the health care system must shift from emphasizing a sick care system to a health care system, helping to prevent disease instead of treating people only after they have become sick. Daschle noted that "our health care system is not oriented toward prevention, and therefore, fails to incentivize the screenings and lifestyle changes that can do so much to improve health. Any health care reform plan must make sure every American has preventative care that prevents disease and disability.... In addition to being sound medicine, [prevention] is sound fiscal policy."

"Daschle hit the nail on the head that prevention should be America's first line of defense against disease, instead of an afterthought," said Jeffrey Levi, PhD, Executive Director of TFAH. "Helping Americans become healthier is one of the most overlooked ways to drive down health care costs and ensure our workforce is competitive in the global economy. Now more than ever, we need prevention to be the cornerstone of health care reform, especially in this time of economic crisis. We look forward to working with the Obama Administration to ensure this vision for a healthier America becomes a reality."

Daschle stressed the importance of community-based disease prevention, and cited TFAH's recent Prevention for a Healthier America study, which found that for every $1 spent on proven community-based disease prevention programs, the country could net a return of $5.60 in health care costs -- a savings of more than $16 billion annually within five years. These findings are based on an economic model developed by res
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SOURCE Trust for America's Health
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