Leading health care policy specialistsare pressuring the 2008 presidential candidatesto develop strategies to fightchronic diseases as part of their healthcare plans.
The Partnership to Fight ChronicDiseases, the newly formed alliance ofpublic health organizations, wants candidatesto develop plans to fight cancer,diabetes, and obesity rather than justconcentrating on access to insurance orimproving cost by implementing electronichealth records. The group said thatchronic illnesses account for $0.75 ofevery dollar spent on health care and areresponsible for 7 of 10 deaths in thecountry.
"Any serious proposal to reform ourhealth care system must address preventablechronic disease," said initiativecofounder Kenneth E. Thorpe, PhD, chairof the department of health policy andmanagement in the Rollins School ofPublic Health at Emory University. "Ournation's premier business, labor, healthcare, and community organizations arededicated to making chronic diseases likeasthma, diabetes, heart disease, and cancerthe No. 1 health care priority for policymakers and presidential candidates."