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