Jan. 8, 2016
By: Sherri Nielsen
For the many days the presidential candidates have spent traversing our state to build support for the Feb. 1 caucuses, Iowans have yet to hear a genuine debate about health care. To be more specific, 56 percent of the people in our state have at least one chronic disease like diabetes, cancer or stroke and we need to hear details from the candidates on how they plan to keep population health from deteriorating even further.
Chronic illness is the most important health care issue of our time. Yet it has received a distinct lack of attention on the campaign trail. For Iowa, the stakes involved in addressing this crisis could not be higher. According to the IHS Life Sciences research organization, in the next decade our state will see over 785,000 citizens with heart disease, more than 260,000 with cancer and approximately 200,000 diabetics. The human suffering and premature deaths alone make this a major concern, but the escalating incidence rate for chronic illnesses like these also has a profound impact on health care costs and productivity.
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