I was emailed the information below and I thought with the election coming up it would be appropriate to post the article here.
Thorpe: If we’re really serious about getting to the bottom of the healthcare affordability crisis, we’ll have to first address chronic disease.
Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease Executive Director Dr. Ken Thorpe participated in a podcast interview today with Dr. Val Jones on the popular medical blog KevinMD.com about the crisis of chronic disease in America. Here’s some of what he had to say:
ON AMERICA’S CHRONIC DISEASE CRISIS: About 75% of what we spend on healthcare is associated with chronically ill patients. That’s about 1.6 trillion dollars per year. Chronic disease accounts for the biggest source of spending in the healthcare economy, and it’s also the fastest growing as more and more people are living with chronic illnesses. If we’re really serious about getting to the bottom of the healthcare affordability crisis, we’ll have to first address the chronic disease issue.
ON WHAT AMERICANS SHOULD EXPECT FROM CANDIDATES: I think the public is interested in hearing from the candidates on healthcare and economic issues, but they want specifics. They don’t want double-talk or finger pointing about who’s right and who’s wrong. They just want to understand what the candidates are proposing and what it means for them. How are they going to keep high quality healthcare and also afford it?
ON HOW TO FIX AMERICA’S PRESENT SICK CARE SYSTEM: We have to focus on primary prevention and finding ways to decrease smoking rates, improve nutrition, and start to bend the curve on the obesity epidemic in this country. Obesity rates have doubled since 1985 so that 35% of Americans are now clinically obese. I think reversing this trend must begin in schools, followed closely by community-based interventions, with assistance from employers and productivity management initiatives.
MORE: LISTEN to the podcast.
The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) is a national and state-based coalition of more than 100 patients, providers, community organizations, business, labor and health policy experts, committed to raising awareness of policies and practices that save lives and reduce health costs through more effective prevention and management of chronic disease. Please visit our Web site at www.fightchronicdisease.org.