Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Former HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson says prevention "tops the list" of health reform policies that Americans feel are worth the investment. Thompson offered his assessment in a column written for the Huffington Post.

"The question is what policies under consideration do the vast majority of Americans view as being "worth" the investment -- not just tomorrow, but today," he writes.

"The answer that tops the list is prevention. Americans are literally sick of a health care system that doesn't improve health, but instead waits until we get sick before it springs into action. That's why policies that will reorient our system to emphasize prevention is an idea that ranks at the top of what Americans want in health reform -- well above ideas that get a lot more attention from politicians and the media. In fact, according to a recent Trust for America's Health survey, Americans rated prevention as the top priority in health reform, above providing tax credits to small businesses and prohibiting health insurers from denying coverage based on health status.

"In this highly politicized debate, it's important to note that a vast majority (88%) of voters -- Republicans and Democrats alike -- favor such an approach to reform, according to a recent survey by bipartisan pollsters Celinda Lake and Bill McInturff. For instance, there is strong bipartisan support for policies that make it easier for Americans with chronic disease to appropriately manage their conditions and prevent complications -- such as eliminating co-pays and deductibles for treatments for chronic illness -- which are a part of current reform proposals."


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