Thursday, July 23, 2009

Prevention Saves Lives and Dollars

“Prevention measures are the most proven and effective way of keeping costs low and improving Americans' health. Yet, it seems these measures are at the front of the line to get eliminated in the rush to "cut costs" from the health-care reform package. Prevention measures didn't even get the respect of a cost score from the Congressional Budget Office. This is a totally backwards way of thinking. A report released last year by the Trust for America's Health showed that for every dollar we invest in prevention, we save $5.60. If we invested $10 per person in prevention, we would save $16 billion nationwide within five years. That is an astounding rate of return -- not only in dollars, but in health, peace of mind and improved worker productivity. As a purely political point, prevention is also overwhelmingly popular. A study released in June by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Trust for America's Health showed that ‘more than three-quarters of Americans (76 percent) support increasing funding for prevention programs that provide people with information and resources and creating policies that help people make healthier choices. Investing in prevention is popular across the political spectrum, with 86 percent of Democrats, 71 percent of Republicans, and 70 percent of Independents supporting investing more in prevention.’”

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