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Home / News & IndustryManaged Care Insight and Analysis
Updated: November 10, 2009
Prevention Ranks As Most Important Health Reform Priority, Poll Finds

Americans rank prevention as the most important healthcare reform priority, and overwhelmingly support increasing funding for prevention programs to reduce disease and keep people healthy, according to the results of a new survey.

Prevention was rated higher than all other proposals, the survey authors reported, including providing tax credits to small businesses and prohibiting health insurers from denying coverage based on health status. The survey was conducted by the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)

Some 70 percent of survey participants ranked investing in prevention between an 8 and 10 on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 means not at all an important healthcare priority and 10 means very important.Forty-six percent rated prevention as 10 out of 10, the survey found.

"We know that prevention and wellness efforts are a key to reducing costs within a reformed healthcare system," said Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa)

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) said the nation spends nearly $800 billion on health problems that are "directly linked to lifestyle and poor health habits each year – about one third of our total healthcare spending."

"This poll shows the American public strongly believes it’s time we shift from a sick care system to a true healthcare system that stresses disease prevention," said Jeff Levi, PhD, executive director of TFAH.

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.

"We know that strategic investments in disease prevention programs in communities can result in a big payoff in a short time – reducing healthcare costs, increasing the productivity of the nation’s workforce, and helping people lead healthier lives," said Risa Dr. Lavizzo-Mourey, president and CEO of the RWJF.

The poll, which reflects the responses from 1,014 registered voters, was conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and Public Opinion Strategies.

TFAH is a non-profit, non-partisan organization.

The RWJF, the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and healthcare of all Americans, focuses on the pressing health and healthcare issues facing our country.

Addresses: Trust for America’s Health, 1730 M St. NW, Suite 900, Washington DC 20036; (202) 223-9870, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, P.O. Box 2316, Route 1 and College Road East, Princeton, NJ 08543; (877) 843-7953,

  This article was taken from:
The Executive Report on Managed Care

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