Thursday, April 30, 2009

Former Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson says lifestyle-oriented prevention initiatives could help control future health care costs.

"Will health reform require an upfront investment? Yes. But will that investment pay off in the long term? Yes, it will," Thompson says in a column appearing in Politico.

He expresses concerns that the Congressional Budget Office's estimated price tag for a health reform bill "will not capture the future savings, because it underestimates the value of investment in health care as a means to achieving a healthier, more productive and, ultimately, more prosperous America. "

"While not all prevention and disease management programs are cost-saving, especially in the short term, reliable research indicates that if we can get Americans to lead healthier, more active lives and proactively manage their health, we can help control the cost of health care by delaying — and in some cases fully avoiding — costly chronic health problems," he adds.

Tommy G. Thompson is a partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld, former four-term governor of Wisconsin, former secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and co-chairman of the Wisconsin chapter of the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease.


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