Presidential Candidates Fail To Address Chronic Diseases
Most presidential candidates "aren't spending nearly enough time talking about chronic disease," and, "unless the next president addresses the issue seriously," his or her health care proposals "seem destined to failure," former Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), a physician and former Senate majority leader, and Dan Crippen, former director of the Congressional Budget Office, write in a Miami Herald opinion piece.
According to the authors, chronic diseases "cause more than 60% of deaths around the country" and "consume more than 70% of our health care budget." They add, "Any candidate who wants to succeed" should "promote personal responsibility, focus government programs on these diseases" and "encourage private insurers to take chronic disease seriously."
The authors write that Medicare "needs to begin by compensating physicians for diagnostic services and medical management," adding that the State Children's Health Insurance Program makes "almost no systematic effort to prevent chronic diseases in childhood."
In addition, Congress should pass legislation to "bring health information technology into the modern era," and candidates should "consider tax credits, grants and mandates to encourage private insurance companies to take chronic diseases seriously," according to the authors (Frist/Crippen, Miami Herald, 2/12).