Fighting chronic illness is key to health costs

September 27, 2008
by Tommy Thompson
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

These days, trouble on Wall Street and the housing crisis have Congress and the presidential candidates scrambling for answers to fix our faltering economy.

Our first step must be to arrest the unchecked growth in poorly prevented and mismanaged chronic illness, which will reduce costs, improve productivity and improve our health. Chronic diseases and obesity are at the heart of our health care problems, but they also show the greatest potential for savings. For example, a Trust for America's Health report found that spending $10 a year per person on chronic disease prevention programs would save the United States more than $16 billion annually within five years.

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