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Coalition Urges Presidential Candidates to Discuss Chronic Disease Following Missed Opportunity in N.H. Republican Party-Fox News Debate

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept. 5, 2007) - The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) called on presidential candidates from both parties to discuss solutions to America's chronic disease epidemic following this evening's New Hampshire Republican Party-Fox News Channel Presidential Debate, in which none of the candidates addressed the nation's most pressing health care issue."Tonight, the Republican candidates debated a number of issues that affect Americans' lives, however they failed to address the number one killer of Americans and the primary driver of rising health care costs - chronic disease," said PFCD Executive Director Ken Thorpe. "The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease encourages Republicans and Democrats to continue discussing policies to prevent and manage chronic disease, because we will not be able to improve the quality and affordability of health care until we address the most costly illnesses."Chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, are the number one cause of death and leading driver of rising health care costs in America. They account for seven out of 10 deaths and 75 percent of every health care dollar spent in the U.S. These are conditions that, with proper early intervention, diet, and exercise, could be prevented, delayed, or minimized. More than 130 million Americans today have a chronic disease.About the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease:The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) is a national coalition of patients, providers, community organizations, business and labor groups, and health policy experts committed to raising awareness of the number one cause of death, disability, and rising health care costs in the U.S.: chronic disease.The PFCD's mission is to:

  • Challenge policymakers - in particular, the 2008 presidential candidates - to make the issue of chronic disease a top priority and articulate how they will address the issue through their health care proposals
  • Educate the public about chronic disease and potential solutions for individuals, communities, and the nation
  • Mobilize Americans to call for change in how policymakers, governments, employers, health institutions, and other entities approach chronic disease

Leaders in the effort represent more than 50 leading organizations from across health care, business and labor including Aetna, American Academy of Family Physicians, Alliance for Aging Research, American Academy of Physician Assistants, American College of Nurse Practitioners, American College of Preventive Medicine, American Hospital Association, American Pharmacists Association Foundation, Disease Management Association of America, Kerr Drug, Integrated Benefits Institute, International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, NAACP, Milken Institute, National Association of Manufacturers, National Medical Association, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, Service Employees International Union, Sheet Metal Workers International Association, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and YMCA of the USA, among others.