Braley pushes for wellness and prevention in health care reform - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Braley pushes for wellness and prevention in health care reform


by John Wilmer

Cedar Falls (KWWL) - Health care reform has become a hot topic as of late. Now state leaders are calling on all Iowans to make wellness and prevention a primary focus of health reform.          

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, every year Americans spend two trillion dollars on healthcare, 75 percent of that is spent on combating chronic illnesses, such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

According to Braley, less than five cents of every dollar spent on health care goes toward prevention. He says with a great investment in prevention chronic diseases could be avoided all together.

Doctor Christopher Edginton is a professor and the Director of the School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services at the University of Northern Iowa. He also suffers from a chronic illness, coronary heart disease. A condition he knows he could of prevented.

"I should have avoided it. I know better. My doctor told me years ago that I need to address this issue and I started to, but I fell away from the path. I didn't stay motivated and I didn't stay committed," Dr. Edginton said.

Now Representative Bruce Braley is fighting to make wellness and prevention part of the much discussed health care reform.

"I believe 60 to 75 cents of every healthcare dollar goes to fighting chronic disease so we know that wellness and prevention programs will help reduce that health care burden," said Braley.

Braley also says making prevention the central principal around which the health care debate revolves will ensure a healthier country.

"Money that is spent to intervene aggressively to help educate and instruct people on how to make informed lifestyle choices will lead to dramatically reduced healthcare costs for all of us," Braley said.

"This is as much a personal issue as it is a broader social issue that needs to be addressed. You are responsible for your own well being. It's you that has to take that first step on the treadmill," Edginton said.

Another issue that will need to be tackled is coverage. Right now, 10 percent of people in Iowa are uninsured.


Online Reporter: John Wilmer

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