Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Move Policymakers Beyond the Savings Debate

Over at www.disruptivewomen.net, Glenna Crooks has a powerful take on what she calls the "unsettling debate" over whether prevention will cost the government money.

"Yes, prevention will cost more health dollars," says Crooks, who is founder and President of Strategic Health Policy International, Inc. "Let’s get over it and move on – and beyond – that."

"...Regardless of what transpires in health reform debates, I hope that policy makers will realize that health – though valuable in-and-of itself – is an instrument of bigger goals," she writes.

"I hope they will not set their sights too low and act as if it’s all-and-only about cutting costs. I hope they will see that a healthy population is a productive one and in this economy that’s exactly what we need: people who are capable of managing the stresses of these modern times, who can work more productively and work longer to bring this nation – and the world – forward to its full potential of peace and prosperity for all."

Crooks says she offered similar advice in an August 2001 speech at an international conference on resistant pathogens. The reaction from conferees, she says, was "stunning." Many in the audience came to her afterwards in tears and talked about how she had touched them.

"It was then that I realized how weary we all are of working our best to shave another cent from the health care dollar and how much we all wanted a higher purpose for our work," she says.


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